Truth… Where’s The Justice?

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truth, where's the justice, jacqueline gumMan Oh Jeezle Pete!  The political season is now a 12 month, 24-7 cycle. We have almost truths, half-truths, and not-a-shred of truths buffeting us like a blizzard. Truth seems as elusive as the winter mittens you were sure you’d stashed in a place impossible to forget.

Just as you might have many closets to look for your mittens, there are lots of places to look for the truth. Too many places, in my opinion. There is Fox News, MSNBC, CNN, PBS, ABC, CBS, NBC. I look in The Economist, the local paper, as well as the Sunday New York Times. I check out websites like The Huffington Post, The Daily Caller, and Politico. I even give Stephen Colbert a glance, because if nothing else I can laugh while I’m ripping around searching.

But I have to check all of these sources and more before I can cobble together what I think may be the truth. By now, I’m exhausted and cranky. I’m talking PMS or hot-flash kind of cranky. I’m living in a culture where truth has become subjective and Where’s The Justice in any subjective truth?

truth, jacqueline gum, where's the justice

On one hand it’s spawned a whole new industry and we all agree that the country needs more people working. We now have an army of fact checkers. But I have a novel idea: Why don’t they tackle the job before the speech is given? Why do I have to wait to find out if what I just heard in that inspirational discourse is the truth?


I’m so enthused that I’m on my feet dancing, but turns out my partner is a spin doctor… and we’re not talking vinyl disks here.

I can’t be the only exhausted, cranky voter in search of the bare bones truth. I’d wager there are millions of us out there feeling ornery because discovering veracity shouldn’t constitute a journey equal to a walk across the country, scaling Mt. Everest, or swimming the English Channel.

So, what I’d like to do is demand that ALL candidates be hooked up to a lie detector while speaking. Wouldn’t that be fun? Then, how about we display the results on a jumbo-tron mounted above them. Maybe we could throw in a big guy with a mallet who delivers a punch to the head when they get it wrong. Man Oh Jeezle Pete! Talk about fun! Not to mention the free time I’d have on my hands.

By now, I’ve checked every closet, every winter coat pocket and I still can’t find my damn mittens. I’m hoping their loss isn’t a harbinger in terms of truth surfacing sometime this election season.

If my mittens don’t turn up in the next couple of months I can always buy a new pair. The truth? Not so much.


48 thoughts on “Truth… Where’s The Justice?

  1. Spot on Jacquie!
    I like this – Searching for the truth is tough. Truth and politics dont go hand in hand. During elections, it dosent exist at all. The media puts out what they want us to hear.

  2. I agree with you Jacqueline that the facts should be checked before the lies are even spun out public. It’s a bit sad that there’re so many sites operating now for this particular area. I watch these debates and ask myself who’s the most convincing liar because that seems to be the criteria for the candidates rather than honesty and qualifications.

  3. Oh God, forget it! Truth and politics don’t go together like soup and sandwich. Politicians use a lot of word to say, nothing. They’re the masters of the old side step. As I read your post I thought back to my son as a teenager TRYING to piece together a factual story in response to my question, “where were you all afternoon”? Oh boy!..the plethora of words describing in such detail absolutely NOTHING that had anything to do with my question.

  4. You’re right, Jacquie, searching for the truth is tough. The opposite approach is much easier: start your own cult in which you are the Supreme Leader and have sole possession of the Undisputed Truth. Why don’t you try that?

    Somewhat more seriously:
    (1) During my student days I knew someone who recommended the Christian Science Monitor as an objective news source – have you ever read it?
    (2) I see that you check in with The Economist. In your search for the truth, you may find it edifying to touch base with other non-American media outlets, e.g., The Telegraph, Agence France-Press, Der Spiegel, etc.
    (One of the wonderful things about the World Web Web is that it puts the world’s press at your fingertips.)

    • Ha! I’m not exactly drawn to cults, and I’m sure not a supreme leader of anything! LOL But I appreciate the heads up on other sources. I do think the Economist is my favorite right now.

  5. Jacquie, I don’t know which I like better, the lie detector with the jumbo-tron and the big guy with a mallet who delivers a punch to the head or the lie detector with the buzzer, that would be fun too. Although the cattle prod definitely has some merit.
    Actually, we have had election campaigns going on since July, thank goodness to end Monday the 19th. That was bad enough but your campaigns go on and on and on……… It’s a wonder that all good Americans don’t rise up and say “enough already”, Just pick straws, the shortest straw wins.
    As for the media, they no longer report the news – they all want to impress us with their opinion, as biased as it is.

    • I’d love to think that we can be done with, but it never happens. We are in 24/7 cycle now. These elctions will be over and within a few months there will be specualtion on who sill be running 4 years from the end of election. It does wear on a person!

  6. As a historian, I find it hard to see what is fact and what is common perception. We see that all the time, especially today. Remember the Acorn incident, where FOX news continued to broadcast a video where a guy was going to start a prosecution business with the help of an ACORN rep. It ended up the congress ended their funding, before it came out that the video was fakes and edited.
    If you remember the old movie, The Man who Shot Liberty Valance, you remember this line. “when legend becomes fact, print the legend”
    As a Politian, you do not base your policies on facts. You get facts to support your policies.

    • I had forgotten that line, but it’s perfect! Interesting viewpoint in terms of being a historian! Love to see how things have changed over the last few hundred years politically.

  7. Truth doesn’t exist that much during the campaign season it seems. I try to get my news about the candidates from alternative sources. The main media outlets only put out what they want the people to hear, not the truth.

  8. I’m with Rose’s friend. If truth is absolute (as opposed to subjective) then we wouldn’t need all the media throwing around different angles. It would be a lot simpler, but I wonder if it could ever happen. I always said I’d vote for the guy who doesn’t throw mud around, but I’ve never encountered one of those.

    • Ha! My observations have show me that the guys that throw the most mud, generally have the thinnest skin. Great pitchers, lousy catchers. But you are tight. They all do it to some degree or another. Cringe-worthy….

  9. It would be lovely if all the pomp and circumstance leading up to the next presidential election would be in the six to maybe nine-month range, but no. Endless streams of biased BS coming our way. I’m glad I rarely watch TV anymore, but my online feeds are definitely full of it 😉

    • I am definitely in favor of severely abbreviated campaign season. Seems to be, everyone I talk to feels the same way… all but the folks who profit from it right? I’m still a political junky though, I can’t help myself. Wonder if they have a rehab fo that?

  10. I’m right behind you on this one Jacquie. And now John Stewart has quit, surely I’m not expected to read all the dross out there to try & figure out the truth. Mmm truth and politics feels just a tad incongruous eh? Thanks for your usual sharp wit – always a pleasure:-)

    • I’m just a tad alarmed at the number of people who regard Jon Stewart as a journalist/newsman! I loved the guy, too. I recorded his show every day, but he’s just as biased as all the other pundits out there! Hmmmmm…..

  11. #1) Our campaigning season is ridiculously long. In other countries they limit the time to about 6 weeks and they limit the amount of money that can be spent. #2) I also think Congressional terms are too short (2 years). Our Congress people literally have barely taken office before they are fund raising again and they usually end up beholden to certain big time contributors/lobbyists. #3) It might be time to move beyond the two party system. There is something attractive about the parliamentary system where there are multiple parties, where sometimes no party can garner a majority of votes and where they are then forced to build coalitions to govern. The “My Way or the Highway” system that seems entrenched in our legislatures isn’t working very well. I admit I’m a devoted Rachel Maddow watcher, BUT to make sure I’m not living in a bubble, I read “religiously” everyday. Sometimes the truth is black and white, but more often there are shades of gray and those pesky nuances. Sadly, most of us don’t have the attention span for them and we end up with low information voters on every end of the spectrum.

    • All salient points and let me add that I think term limits should;d be on the table and though it gets talked about nothing ever gets done. There should be NO such thing as a career politician. I dare say, I do not think our founding fathers had that in mind. And it’s true, that the attention span of so many is zip-nada. Too true…low information voters, and so very sad.

  12. Excellent suggestion – the omnipresent lie detector. Yes. If only. I do believe that the vast majority of the candidates only say what they think will win the most votes and they have completely forgotten that they have consciences or that lying is wrong. Grrrrr.

  13. Well said Jacqueline! Honestly I don’t know whose worse, the media or the politicians themselves, but I lean toward the media in most cases. For example, couple of years ago I flew over to Honolulu to attend a rally at the state capitol. It was a women’s issue and there were about 350-400 of us there … and 3 men. There were also a handful of reporters standing around looking quite bored because it was a nice peaceful gathering, until two of the men got in an argument and the press jumped on it. What do you think made front page news? Why of course a big blown up photo of the two men with barely a mention of the hundreds of women who were there. Valuable, if disappointing, lesson and the thought of having to go through the rest of this political season without Jon Stewart helping us to find some truth, humor and sanity in it all is really depressing. :-(

  14. Oh boy, Jacquie I LOVE the idea of hooking candidates up to a polygraph machine live on TV. although I think some are such experienced liars, and they’ve said the lies often enough that the actually believe what they are saying. However, would still be AWESOME! I bet everyone would turn on that debate. It would be fascinating. :)

  15. The truth does appear difficult to find in this political climate. We seem to be living at a time when political candidates are no where close to careful about what they say. It seems they don’t care if what they say is true or not, and then it’s up to folks like you to wade through the speech and find the truth. Once you do your job the candidate could care less, and by that time has said something else very suspect.

  16. I’m with you, J. To cut through the noise, I just watch what they do, not listen to what they say. It’s all theater, imho. Besides, it’s the same ol’ same ol’– everybody jockeying for position, grasping for power. Entertaining at best, unbelievably silly at worst…

    • DV! I think that’s brilliant! You have completely changed the way I will watch these things now! It IS theatre, isn’t it? But I am feeling ever less entertained the closer we get…sigh…………

  17. Editorializing is the name of the game for media. Nothing to do with truth. Fox for instance is ultra right wing. They focus on what they like or fear.

    Politicians, heaven help us. Worries me that one of the candidates running for president in your country will have the most powerful position in the world. Europe is at the moment having a refugee crisis that has been caused by the actions of two American presidents, George W. Bush and Obama.

    About 4,000 a day in Sweden only when you include those who disappear without applying for asylum. In the middle of this crisis a small Sweden Christian party decided to complicate things in a way that may, if worse comes to worse, will lead to the need to hold elections. When a country is facing a crisis all political parties have a duty to cooperate not complicate.

    • The refugee crisis where you are is appalling, Catarina. Not only is the US in large part responsible for it, we’ve done little to alleviate the problem. But I can’t say I agree with you about Fox News. If you watch their straight news broadcasts and put the pundits aside, I find them more balanced than most of the other cable stations or network news…where the anchors ARE pundits! But they all show some bias… makes you wonder what the hell they teach in Journalism schools these days!

  18. Hahaha. Sad, but true. At least you made me laugh about it. I like your idea of hooking up the candidates to a lie detector machine but I fear they are so good at lying, they’d beat the machines. Real-time fact checkers would be fun. Every time someone lies, the fact checker could hit the buzzer….EEERRRR! Wrong answer!

    • Ha! Glad you got a chuckle of it Deb:) Can you imagine if there were the buzzer you’d describe? The thing would be buzzing incessantly! LOL

  19. We are in the midst of a federal election in Canada and I can relate to your search for truth. I like the idea of candidates being hooked up to a lie detector when speaking. And maybe some kind of cattle prod that activates when they evade the questions. Good luck finding your mittens.

    • Ohhhhh…I LOVE the idea of a cattle prod! Shows you have insane I’ve become with all this…that’d I delight in all of them doing some herky-jerky dance, with pain stricken faces! LOL

  20. I love this!

    You have such a way with words; you are sharp and witty.

    Politicians tell us what they believe we want to hear. Once they come onto office, you rarely see that promise materialise.

    The truth is so often twisted. People go back on their words and integrity is rarely to be seen.

    • How sad that we think we confront the lack of integrity with a shoulder shrug! Like it’s expected that there is none, or very little. It makes me so sad sometimes, and often fearful!

  21. There are indeed many places to look for the truth but we all seem to gravitate toward the outlet that intreprets the truth in line with the way we want to see it. TV News in particular is polarizing. Everyone selects the channel that reinforces what they already believe, so it seems we just get more and more entrenched in our existing slant on the truth.

    • Unfortunately, I agree with you Ken, but I do NOT! I switch it up all the time, so I can hear both sides or all twenty sides:) That’s the point, though. Who has the time to do that? It makes me resentful, truth be told. Because I think most people WANT to make good decisions, based on fact not opinion. But they’ve made it too damn hard!

  22. Haha..I love the idea of strapping all the candidates to a lie detector. And yet, I think some of them are such egomaniacs that they start actually believing their own bullshit. Needless to say, I’m gonna have to stay off Facebook for the next 12 months to avoid the string of arguments destined to ensue.

    • Ha! Speaking of partisan…that would be all those folks on Facebook passionately expressing their point of view as utter truth! Ha! Just reminded me, I should stay away too:)

  23. How about we throw out this entire circus like an old pair of mittens and start with a fresh group of em? I think it may be past time that we found some new possibilities.

    • Oh please can I be the one with the wheelbarrow? I’d sorely love to dump each and every one of them in a landfill somewhere! The cover ’em up with all the bullshit they’ve spread around that’s not even fit for fertilizer!!!!! Whee!!

  24. Right on, oh yes, holy moly, yes, please! It is exhausting trying to figure out the reality.
    A German friend watching these antics one election season said: Why do they (the reporters, etc.) all give their opinions instead of just reporting the facts so Americans can make up their own minds?

    I had no answer. I have no answer.
    Shared on FB!

    • Isn’t that interesting? Your Greman friend’s comment? Goes to show ya, right? I have no answer either! And thanks for the share!

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