Mon Nov 7, 2016, 04:04 AM

Hillary supporter says that the truth is a very bad thing.

One of the things in history that always made me shake my head was the stupidity of dictators. One quick example if you would indulge me. Before the Nazi's invaded the Soviet Union, the British got word of the massing troops on the Soviet Border. Churchill who had as a Member of Parliament tried to save the Russians from the Soviets by voting to send British Troops to fight against the Reds sent a letter to Stalin. This letter was rejected by Stalin who focused entirely on the messenger. Then again, Stalin often refused to listen to that message from anyone. The Dictator was convinced it was all a trick by the English to get Russia into the war against the Nazi's who he had a Non Aggression pact with. Stalin was focused entirely on the messenger, instead of the message. Subsequent messages that would cause a wise man to question his conclusion were rejected because they had to be part of the same trick. The messenger was suspect because Stalin didn't like the message.

This has been widely panned in history. Stalin's troops and decisions during the war were instrumental in defeating the Nazi's. But Stalin's decisions in rejecting the messages warning him of the impending attack led to the loss of thousands of miles of territory, millions of lost Soviet lives, and a much harder battle to defeat the Nazi's. I've never read any account of this event in history where people cheered Stalin for rejecting these warnings. No historian says it's a good thing Stalin focused on the messenger instead of the message.

I have said before that I'm a truth whore. I'll take truth from anyone. This is partly because I am determined not to make the mistakes from history if it can possibly be avoided. This is one of the reasons I was willing to point out that my preferred candidate Bernie shared a lot of issues with Trump. Because I did not focus on the messenger, but on the message.

Now, the NY Times Op Ed by Zeynep Tufekci makes me laugh. http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/05/opinion/what-were-missing-while-we-obsess-over-john-podestas-email.html?ref=opinion&_r=0

You see, who is telling you and why is way more important than what they are telling you. If some foreign power is involved, well that just means you should not only reject the message, but view anyone who does read it with suspicion. If I am a truth whore, willing to take truth from anyone. Is the opposite side of the coin make you a truth celibate? A person with no interest in sex is called asexual. What do we call someone who has no interest in truth except from approved sources?

Manning, Snowden, Ellsburg, and those who send their information to Wikileaks and similar sites are doing us a service. Notice who have I left out? Those who hack phones to steal ill conceived selfies or pictures of lovers in the buff. That isn't truth, it's sensationalism. I've always said that the people who release the truth for us are heroes. They give us the truth we need. We need to know the truth so we can tell our elected representatives what we expect from them. We need the know the truth so we can choose our representatives wisely. Without that information, we are little more than fans at a High School homecoming football game. We're going to win because our team color is blue. Go big blue!

We must have that truth, because without it we can't tell if our representatives are representing what we want them to. We can't decide what our nation is going to stand for, or against. We can't decide if we are good, or bad. Since 9-11, we have done a hell of a lot that makes us bad. Not just Republicans, or solely Democrats, but us. We have kidnapped, tossed people into black prisons, abused people, tortured people, and lied to the people of the world, and been lied to. Obama and Hillary have lied to us about why we are in Syria. Obama and Hillary have lied to us about what we were doing in Libya. We've been lied to about so many things, that I can understand the reluctance of some people to admit that truth matters.

It matters. We saw in Plutarch's Lives that Tigranes lost the war because he killed the first messenger who brought bad news. This had the predictable effect of subsequent messengers bringing only good news, but it wasn't the truth. I'll take the truth, good or bad, because I might make a bad choice even if I am armed with the truth, but I can't make anything but bad choices if I am bereft of truth before making my decisions.

It's not a football game between high school rivals. We are choosing a leader, and the truth matters in making that choice. I'll take that truth from anyone. History has many examples of people who focused on the messenger, instead of the message. Almost universally those examples are considered failures, or fools. Where do you fall in this question? Are you a truth celibate, or are you a willing to take the truth?

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