By The Oracle
Most police officers don’t trust eyewitness testimony. In a crowd of twenty witnessing a crime, you get twenty different stories. People have a tendency to add their biases to what they see. When you add the desire for certainty, people can convince themselves of details that don’t exist. You know what detectives love…video footage. A video camera doesn’t have biases. It just records what happens. It’s amazing what happens when an eyewitness sees video footage. It tends to send them off balance. The reason I mention this is our country seems to have a problem with deciding what it’s actually watching. We have several million people who aren’t sure what they’re seeing.
Perception is dangerous. Especially when what we perceive is different than what we are seeing. I think we’ve all been feeling a bit disoriented lately. I can say without any doubt that President Trump is awful. He’s been awful from day one. He’s never hidden the fact that he is awful. It’s out there for anyone to see. He’s brazenly racist, misogynist, ignorant, bullying, greedy, etc. The evidence is there. You can’t miss it. Unfortunately, he tells people that he is “honest, hardworking, smart, temperate, etc.” and everyone cheers. This is the disconnect that seems to be infecting a large section of the population. They are willing to disregard what they see and hear for what they are told. I have been trying to figure out what went wrong in the election of 2016 for months, and my best theory is that Trump voters wanted the lie.
Hillary Clinton has been taking a lot of criticism about her campaign. Yes, she lost. That’s a metric you can’t get around. I’ve heard people blame misogyny, a lack of vision, stupidity, disconnect with the “working” populace, etc. I think the main reason she lost is she wasn’t willing to brazenly lie. She was willing to tell people the hard truth. She told coal miners that their jobs weren’t coming back. She wasn’t willing to tell manufacturing workers their jobs wouldn’t go overseas. She didn’t lie about what was going on in the Middle East. I won’t say that she was always completely honest, but she really tried not to lie. While a lot of people really liked that, unfortunately, a lot of people really hated reality.
I will admit that reality can be hard. No one wants to hear that their job is going away, or that their healthcare is up for grabs, or that maybe the way we look at other countries is ignorant. And it’s easier if you’re uninformed to build a worldview. Many people don’t like complex issues. They want to be simple. The only problem is that you build a worldview and then find information to fit it. It’s never challenged. And when confronted with facts, the individual will discard them rather than go through the trouble of changing their thinking. If you love facts and the truth, your worldview is constantly changing. I personally know that I don’t know everything. My view of the world is shaped by what I see, hear, and learn. My worldview is shaped by the world around me, and it is being updated constantly.
For the situation to change in our country, we need to fall in love with facts again, especially when they are uncomfortable facts. We need to pledge allegiance to the truth. We must strive to sniff out lies and falsehoods. And we must abide by what the truth presents us. We must plan the future with our eyes wide open. Most of all we must reject those who would mislead us for their own gain. “No more lies” should be the new national creed.