Truth, justice, and the American way

in Voices by

By David Taub

Over the last two millennia, the peoples of spaceship Earth have been tutored about the fundamental value of the Truth (capital “T”) to the success of the human experiment.

Moses received the Ten Commandments from the Lord of Hosts atop Mount Sinai, and the eighth one sets forth: “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor,” meaning that God condemns lying.

Truth-telling is a covenant between God and Mankind, and the most obvious way to fulfill God’s eighth commandment is not to lie — NOT to intentionally deceive another by speaking falsehoods.

In the New Testament, John 8:32 (King James version), it is written: “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

In his famous book, Walden (1854), Henry David Thoreau advised the American republic, “Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth.”

And no less a modern icon of American values than Superman (George Reeves, B&W TV, 1950s), championed “Truth, Justice and the American Way.”

So, we have come to understand from the very highest authorities, that the Truth is demanded of us as a civilized society, and falsehood is to be shunned and damned as evil.

Too many of our citizens have become infected with that insidious novel virus I have labeled DUMB-20a (aka virus of stupidity).

Those infected parade around state capitols, bearing weapons that belong only on a battlefield; but since POTUS has declared “war” on COVID-19, they apparently have concluded that such stupidness is okay.

These rebellious, self-styled patriots scream for “liberty” and “freedom,” demanding to be emancipated from the “deep state,” i.e., our medical and science gurus.

“Let my people go.”

“Give me Liberty or Give me Death.”

Sadly, many of them most likely will regret what they ask for.

As deaths surpass a stunning 85,000 of our kinsmen, let’s reflect on some “Truths” recently handed to us, from the highest political “authority” in the realm.

Falsehood 1: On Jan. 22, referring to COVID-19, POTUS said “We have it totally under control. … It’s going to be just fine.”

Truth 1: Fewer than 100 days later, the USA had the largest number, by far, of COVID-19 infections and deaths of any country in the World. We still do!

Falsehood 2: On Feb. 24, POTUS said “The Coronavirus is very much under control in the USA …” and a day later “You may ask about coronavirus, which is very well under control in our country. We have very few people with it, and the people that have it are … getting better. They’re all getting better … As far as what we’re doing with the new virus, I think that we’re doing a great job.”

Truth 2: Barely a month later, New York State alone had more than 300,000 infections.

Falsehood 3: On Feb. 28, POTUS said “It’s going to disappear. One day, it’s like a miracle, it will disappear.”

Truth 3: By May 14, more than 1.4 million American were confirmed as infected (an underestimation since 2 percent of the population has been tested) and at least 87,000 deaths (also an underestimation), which is increasing by 2,000 or more each day.

Falsehood 4: On March 6, POTUS boasted that “Anybody that needs a test, gets a test. They’re here. They have the tests. And the tests are beautiful.”

Truth 4: On May 1, Congress’s own physician announced he did NOT have sufficient tests for every member of the Senate (n=100).

Falsehood 5: On March 12, POTUS declared, “It’s going to go away … The United States, because of what I did and what the administration did with China, we have 32 deaths at this point …”

Truth 5: On April 26, a sad hallmark was reached: 58,671 deaths from COVID-19, more than the 52,220 courageous American service men and women killed in the years-long Vietnam War.

Truth 6: Here’s another Truth. “Time and Tide wait for no Man.” You might well add this corollary, “… nor for COVID-19 or POTUS.”

It is up to you, good citizens, to distinguish truth from falsehood; you possess the individual power to discriminate Truth from un-Truth (in Texas, we just call it lying).

If the citizens of our democracy do not have faith and confidence in our government leaders to tell the Truth, then we will have lost all that our core values once stood for.

More than precious lives are lost when our collective faith in our government continues to erode. How shall we redeem that most precious of gifts, TRUTH? Would it not be a leader who tells us the Truth, instead of one who possesses a habitual and pathological dedication to Falsehood?

David M. Taub was Mayor of Beaufort from 1990 through 1999, and served as a Beaufort County Magistrate Judge from 2010 to 2015.  He may be contacted at david.m.taub42@gmail.com.