To the Editor:
In the past few years it seems that it has become increasingly difficult to distinguish between truthful statements and lies, at least at the federal executive level.
As a glaring example, according to the Washington Post, our president has lied more than 10,000 times since taking office. At times it seems as if the public discourse in this country has become poisoned.
We were already used to politicians evading questions, stretching the truth a bit, and putting a positive spin on things so as not to offend constituents.
But we are not as accustomed to out-and-out lying. Not only are lies immoral, but they are stupid, since so many facts can be accurately checked.
It would be nice to have politicians and executives who care about their reputations for truthfulness, whose stated "facts" can be checked and found to be accurate, or at least not lies.
Is there a remedy that can be used to combat this policy of lying? Or must we resign ourselves to living in a world of "the big lie," as in the Germany of the 1930's and the Soviet Union of the 1950's?
The best sort of remedy would be for the press, other media and online pundits to continually fact check and put out corrections loud and clear. But not only that: We as citizens must always be on the alert.
If something doesn't sound quite right (a "deep-fake" video, for instance), check it out -- on reliable websites, recorded mainstream newscasts, in objective history, science and political science books, and in news articles from reputable mainstream sources.
In addition, protest, if necessary. If you know the truth and know that a politician has lied, call the office of the untruthful politician, call your own legislative representatives, write letters and emails to them, and write letters to the editor of your local paper, pointing out serious discrepancies. In the most extreme cases, stand in front of a politician's office or in another public place with like-minded truth-seekers.
The point is to not be silent, because the cliché "Silence gives consent" may be quite true. In any event, don't go along with dishonesty, corruption and lies.
To a great extent, restoring civil, truthful public discourse depends on us, the American citizenry.
Mary Lee Cozad