A year ago this weekend we were inaugurating the 45th President of the US. We were marching with pride in the Women’s March and girding our loins for what was to come. A year ago I posted these comparatively hopeful comments. https://marytreacy.wordpress.com/2017/01/27/information-and-media-not-weapons-but-tools/ Somehow I thought we would recognize and eschew the attack on truth and facts and informed citizenship that was to follow.
As the weeks and months passed, reality happened and hope faded with each proclamation, every disruption of information integrity, every political appointment, every charge that the press is the “enemy of the people,” every assault to truth that emanated from the Oval Office and environs. The more I observed the more I admitted what a well-oiled army of deconstructionists had invaded the nation. They came with a diabolical action plan brilliantly designed to attack the very essence of an informed democracy. As a lifetime protagonist for a free press, an informed public and the fundamental principle of truth, I was and am cut to the proverbial quick.
In truth, hope faltered. Though I kept writing blog posts, they were sappy – most never posted. Posted blogs were generally limited to calendars of events, posts that passed on information produced by organizations and individuals whose words and acts were braver and more articulate than my own. Mine was silent resistance here to the insidious and methodical attack on truth. I started to characterize this blog as Moping Around with Mary……
The anniversary of the inauguration prodded me back to Poking. It’s clear that industry is not going to honestly address, much less solve, the onslaught of alternative facts, propaganda, foreign interference or any other strategy that cuts into corporate profits. Consider the latest brain burst from Mark Zuckerberg: https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/#inbox/1611a52828318ba7
Clearly, it cannot remain to the gurus of corporate America to lead the crusade for truth.
And so I’m back to thinking and writing, sharing on this blog, more about how it remains to us as thoughtful individuals, as institutions and as a society to “speak truth to power.” It takes work and guts. And yet, as the great philosopher Elvis Presley who advised us that “truth is like the sun. You can shut it out for a time, but it ain’t goin’ away.” Though I’ll continue calendar highlights that might fall through the cracks, I’ll go back to more thought posts about basic principles of truth, the right and responsibility to know, freedom of the press and the insidious peril to this democracy.
Words matter. Truth matters. Ideas and opinions matter. Inspired by the weekend Women’s March I’m determined to stop moping and return to poking around and speaking out. My hope is to “go high” with renewed energy and commitment to truth and to the ways in which the press, education, libraries, civic discourse and individual engagement and action can keep hope alive.
Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness. ~~Desmond Tutu