LETTER: ‘Truth has become a negotiable word’

To the editor:

I refer to the column by Virginia Buckingham, “Whose Truth is it Anyway?” There are occasions when truth can be verified. For example, if I hear and see someone say something, the hearing and seeing of the person becomes fact, regardless of whether someone else wants to believe me. I heard the person and I saw her/him say it. The person can deny it, but the fact of the matter is that he/she did say it and I saw it.

I find myself in a new, nebulous world. Truth has become a negotiable word. Fact has become what each individual wants it to be. Underlying all this, is the propensity of each person to believe and hear only what they want. From my experience, religion is fraught with this even in the face of contradictory evidence.

Take the current pied piper of the 21st century, Donald Trump. His millions of followers rigidly adhere to his claims. If the courts and laws of our country do eventually verify his attempts to destroy our democracy, I don’t delude myself that these followers will accept such verifications. Rigid, delusional, almost animalistic – to accept Trump’s defeat is to accept their own defeat. And, unbeknownst to them, in their weaknesses, this would be a death knell. These are the same type of people who intensely, almost dogmatically decry even the possibility of humans exacerbating climate change.

Then we have our Supreme Court which seems to be mired in their own version of truth and adherence to precedent. Do some basic, objective, honest research on the Second Amendment arguments, for example, and you might be appalled that such an august body can fiddle with facts. And, to top this all off, dare I mention the current brood of politicians, especially in Washington? For some strange reason, it seems too many of the deniers of truth and fact tend to be members of the former Republican party.

The internet and now AI have tremendous possibilities for the benefit of humankind. However, have you noticed how the internet has already become a malignant tool for destruction (read fake news, etc.)?

Some very intelligent person once remarked that every tool that has been invented for the benefit of humankind, has also been used against it. What a bleak picture. Keep listening for the facts and evaluating. Please be humble and open to alternative ideas (but not to alternative facts). Not an easy path to follow.

Very truly yours,

Walter Haug

Highland Terrace

Letter to the editor
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