President Biden started his presidency with high hopes of bringing the country together. Shared goals of justice, peace, prosperity and mutual respect for one another seemed reasonable. However, there was a keen awareness that almost 50 percent of voters did not vote for him.
Before the election he had assured the voters that he would be a president for all the people whether they voted for him or not. The opposite was true of his opponent, Donald Trump, who resorted to misinformation and outright lies to gain advantage with voters.
Sadly, many voters believed Trump’s lies, and there was insufficient fact-checking to refute them. One of the biggest lies was that if Biden won, the election would be a fraud. That “Big Lie” continues with devastating results.
In any debate, if one debater is allowed to lie with impunity and the other restrains himself by moral standards that most Americans profess, the liar is likely to win in the political arena, at least for a time. Lies repeated over and over are likely to be believed if each lie is not immediately refuted with correct data. That is a task that requires the best in professional, non-biased fact-checkers capable of immediate response, accuracy, and the cooperation of the media.
A “Truth in Politics” federal fact-checking department may be the only solution to providing voters with accurate information with which to make their voting choices.
The media, bound to a degree to abide by the First Amendment right of free speech, seemed eager to publish all of Trump’s outrageous lies and Twitter rantings with more amusement than a sense of danger. Vast numbers of lies were counted by fact-checkers, but individually most falsehoods were not contradicted by the media. Trump’s followers were deviously led to believe that the lies were merely “alternative facts” and that actual facts were “fake.” That continued up to the election and continues today. The denial of election results is only a continuation of the behavior that culminated in Trump inviting his followers to come to the capital and “fight like hell” on Jan. 6, 2021.
It is possible to use freedom of speech laws to an advantage for truth in politics. Fact-finders have the same right to free speech as politicians.
Federal departments come into being when there is a need to inform and protect the people, such as the Food and Drug Administration. Medical drugs are researched and their benefits determined, and possible side effects must be published to protect consumers. This is an essential agency of the government. So too would be a “Truth in Politics” department. If TIP had been in place, there would not have been the continual denial of the election results and hence no insurrection at the Capitol on Jan. 6.
Based on morals professed by most politicians, there should have been shock, dismay and a desire for correction of the continuous denial of election results. The Christian Bible and other religious texts warn of the evil of lying. “Thou shall not bear false witness” is one of the 10 commandments. Voters need honest information, and like the FDA, Truth in Politics is also needed.