A few days ago, former President Barack Obama announced that “there’s no actual evidence that there was anything illegal or fraudulent taking place.” That the former president is lying is obvious: Obama cannot be unaware of the evidence, from multiple whistleblower reports, to the multistate discovery of uncounted, wrongly counted, and ballots counted multiple times, to the huge vote discrepancies down the ticket.
None of the MSM challenge his lie. Why? Those media platforms that make up the MSM have embraced lies and deceptions as a means to political power. In the past four years, we witnessed their obsession with the “truth” of Russian interference in the 2016 election, and even more pointedly, the public crucifixion of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
One of the persistent and popular lies is the comparison of President Trump and his supporters to Hitler and the Nazis. It’s one thing for a hysterical CNN “reporter” to make this comparison, and quite another when it’s repeated by figures such as the highly honored writer Joyce Carol Oates. Her November 19 tweet asserted: “For many pro-T***p Americans, the pandemic is like the Holocaust to many Germans: they knew what was happening but adjusted to living with it in indifference or, in some cases, profiting from it. Only if affected personally do people seem to care.”
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This winner of more than twenty literature prizes and author of fifty-eight novels cannot be so stupid. Oates surely realizes she cannot know the minds and hearts of 73,790,979 voters. But she tells a lie nonetheless. Why? We cannot know her heart any more than she can know ours, but let me take a guess: Oates’s hatred justifies any preposterous claim she cares to make. Don’t bother to correct her: all that matters is that Trump has to go and his supporters have to be put in their place.
Oates might have learned a lesson when she jumped on the Brett Kavanaugh bandwagon when she tweeted his “traditional Catholic obsession w/analyzing & confessing ‘sins’—especially ‘sins of impurity’—helps to explain outbursts of sexually abusive behavior & need for alcohol to release it” (September 26, 2018). Again Oates is willing to lie about a man she does not know because she hates him and wants to change a political outcome.
There are the lies of public figures who command international respect and the lies of the public institutions that shape society through our nation’s young people’s education. The 1619 Project is a lie being writ large through the minds of schoolchildren and teenagers across the country. A 2019 project of The New York Times, this curriculum “aims to reframe the country’s history by placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the very center of the national narrative.” The basic claim is that America was founded by the twenty to thirty black slaves who first arrived in Virginia in 1619. The project leader, Nikole Hannah-Jones, received the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for her introductory essay.
This new narrative has no foundation in fact: the 1619 Project is a lie perpetrated by The New York Times, the Pulitzer Committee, and most of the MSM, for whom lying has become their daily bread. The 1619 Program curriculum was so quickly adopted by school systems around the nation that President Trump had to threaten penalties to those who used it. The program is used in California and the Chicago public school district. By midsummer, it was being taught in 4,500 schools nationwide.
It does not matter to public-school educators that a who’s who of American historians sent an open letter to The New York Times calling out the falsehoods in the narrative. Some signatories’ names will be familiar: Gordon S. Wood, James McPherson, Sean Wilentz, and Victoria Bynum.
For example, John McWhorter, professor of linguistics at Columbia University, writes about the claim that the Founding Fathers intended to protect slavery. He points out the “historical record” does not support that assertion. And he asks,
What are the chances that this supposed revelation would have slept undiscovered until now when for almost 50 years, humanities academics of all colors have been committed to their socks to unearthing racism in the American fabric? Can we really believe that a group of journalists writing for the Times has unboxed such a key historical revelation from reading around that no one else of any color has chosen to trumpet in the mainstream media for decades? Hogwash, clearly.
Naturally, The New York Times and its Pulitzer Prize winner Hannah-Jones responded by saying perhaps some corrections could be made, but the narrative’s substance would remain unchanged. Thus, the lie will continue to run rampant through our schools from K through graduate schools, though challenged here and there by those who have the courage, and probably the tenure, to expose it.
In a nation led by lies and liars, there can be no public trust. Without trust, there can be no community working together to create a national character that can outlast this era of almost-unprecedented chaos in the public square. Matthew Arnold’s “ignorant armies” no longer “clash by night”; they beam into our eyes and ears all day, every day.
[Photo credit: Hayk Shalunts/shutterstock.com]