Counting on Votes
As we adjust to the results of this charade of an election, we must face the depths to which this nation has fallen. We are no longer in a place where simply voting can change things. Something terrible is at the bottom of this pit we’ve fallen into, something that must be dealt with before we can count on our votes meaning anything. This is no longer a matter of politics; it’s a matter of life or death; it’s a matter of thought.
Thought is based on one thing: truth. If we cannot connect the dots of fact in a reliable way, we can’t begin to think, and thinking is all that separates us from lower forms of life, all that allows us to stay alive. We even have ancient laws of good thinking, and all depend on the concept of truth. From the Law of Identity (A thing is what it is: Truth) to the Law of the Excluded Middle (A thing either is or isn’t: Truth) the principles of good thinking have been codified and haven’t been commonly challenged until the latter part of the 20th century. It was in the late 60s that we attained enough arrogance (and enough pot) to challenge the efficacy of thinking.
“There is no such thing as absolute truth!” exclaimed one of my students, mid class discussion -- completely unconcerned that she had just issued an absolute edict. So, okay -- let’s play that game: we’re free to call anything “truth,” no rules required, no rules allowed. (I know, that’s a rule, but we just won’t call it that.). You have your truth and I’ll have mine. A thing can be anything it wants to be, or, better yet, anything we want it to be. Well, let’s just look at where that’s gotten us.
In the first place it’s gotten us a lot of crime. Without truth, there can be no law, and without law there can be no ownership. If I have a car and Henry wants my car, why can’t he have it? If Henry wants to use my body for his own pleasure, who’s to say he shouldn’t do that? If I own a property that I’m not living in, why can’t Henry and his buddies just move in and make themselves at home? The fact that I have the deed to that property cannot be construed as any form of truth, because there isn’t truth. Right?
And if truth isn’t relevant or important, why couldn’t Henry, who owns a pharmaceutical company, distribute a universal vaccine even though integrity would demand proper testing of such a prophylactic? After all, what’s integrity? Doesn’t integrity have something to do with telling the truth? Yes, but since there isn’t any absolute truth, integrity can’t matter and Henry can become as rich as Croesus, never mind who dies. You see, Henry, free of integrity, can work closely with government officials and the media (both free from the demands of truthfulness) to create a need for such medications. It’s hard to tell who lined whose pockets in the COVID fiasco, but in a truthful society, it would have never happened.
Meanwhile, back at the local school, this freedom from the rules of thought has allowed the school districts to ignore the demands of parents and foist any nonsense they want on our children. Since there can be no point in education sans truth, it seems self-defeating, but there’s money to be made, egos to be petted, and control to be gained. If we teach anger instead of facts, we can then end up with a constituency that, being ignorant of most things and distrustful about any information that has filtered in, can easily be manipulated into anything anyone with a voice can feed them -- “Orange man bad,”” Get your booster,” “Change your sex.”
If we can remove from curriculum any mention of God (i.e. Truth) we can also erase absolute morality, which has helped the schools cheat on the issue of ethics. Instead of trying to teach kids to be moral, sans God (which is impossible), they switched to teaching tolerance. With tolerance no moral discernment is necessary, no value judgment required -- just agree with, accept, root for everyone and every behavior. It may look, on the surface, like all is well, but spend a day in a high school sometime soon and you’ll start to see the ugly truth. I once spoke at a school that had a sign on its lawn that said, “Drug Free Zone” and at the base of the sign lay a half-dozen broken beer bottles. The teachers’ parking lot was surrounded by an eight-foot chain link fence topped with razor wire. I guess they didn’t want to tolerate having their cars vandalized.
Of course, our most blatant in-your-face evidence of the damage done by the anti-truth faction is the recent confusion about gender. We can’t even begin to think sensibly about sex anymore. Recently I learned of a girl who, after going away to college, announced that she’s a lesbian who identifies as male, but prefers sex with boys. Imagine being the parents of that child.
Truth is fragile. If you mix into it even a small amount of preposterous, illogical untruth, the whole lump goes bad quickly. Just look at this current election. We know one thing -- that ballots (not the same thing as votes) will keep coming down out of the hills until the Democrat candidate wins -- even if it takes more ballots than there are voters to do it. You see, math is basically truth and if there is no truth, then the math doesn’t matter. Even if the ballots counted could not, by law, be considered legal, it doesn’t matter because law also requires truth and since truth doesn’t exist, then law doesn’t exist, so math can be ignored, so we no longer each have a vote. Votes are connected to people -- each person gets one. Ballots are connected to candidates, not to voters -- not anymore, so whichever party can manufacture the greatest number of ballots wins. Outside of Florida, gone are the rules about voting hours, voting places, voter ID -- you don’t even have to be alive to cast a vote in an American election.
Not that the Constitution allows that, but the Constitution is law so we’re right back to issues of truth. “We hold these truths to be self-evident…” Well, not anymore, not since we agreed to hold Darwinian “truth” to be self-evident. Little by little, since we ripped from God the authorship of the universe, truth has lost its footing in our culture. Even now, as science, little by little, is demonstrating the impossibility of the “simple cell,” we are still mired in uncertainty about how life began, and more importantly, what purpose life serves. It is no wonder our young are confused, drug-addled, and suicidal. No God, no purpose, no truth, no law, no thought, no life.
Deana Chadwell is an adjunct professor and department head at Pacific Bible College https://pacificbible.edu in southern Oregon. She teaches writing, logic, and literature. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.