Our society was not founded upon lies. It was founded upon truths so fundamental that they have withstood even our own failure to live up to them.
Let's start with this one:
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."
Those are the opening words to our Declaration of Independence. The fundamental truth contained therein — that all people are created equal — was betrayed by the existence of slavery, a horrific evil. But the ability to point to that truth strengthened the argument that slavery was deeply wrong; Americans were willing to fight a war to abolish it.
A society that believes in and defends truth can endure any number of other shortcomings. But our society has become infected with lies. Worse, these lies are perpetrated by some of the most visible people and institutions in our society, those that ordinary citizens look to for leadership and honesty. When those leaders create or perpetuate lies, millions of unsuspecting people who trust our leaders are misled, with disastrous consequences.
We were told that then-candidate Donald Trump colluded with Russia to help "throw" the 2016 presidential election his way; that was untrue and was known by those driving the narrative to be untrue.
We were told that the FBI had not abused its power to spy on private citizens or on Trump; in fact, members of our federal law enforcement lied to a federal court (and to Congress) to illegally obtain surveillance warrants.
We were told that there was no evidence to support the theory that COVID-19 emerged from a laboratory in China; in fact, there has always been evidence that COVID-19 was an experimentally manipulated virus possibly released from the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
We were told that the damning information on the laptop of President Joe Biden's son, Hunter, was "Russian disinformation." That was a lie, and one that was used to justify shutting down any inquiry, coming as it did only weeks before the 2020 presidential election.
We should be able to count on our journalists to do serious investigative work to expose those who are deceiving the public — politicians, law enforcement, corporate CEOs — and hold them accountable. Instead, our media has acted as the public relations arm of the Democratic Party, only too happy to avoid making inquiries that might hurt Democrats or help Republicans. (And that goes triple if such an investigation would prove anything Donald Trump said to be true.)
Social media companies (Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram) take this even further by shadowbanning, suspending or outright expelling from their platforms those who are doing investigative work (like James O'Keefe and Project Veritas or The New York Post) and those who are trying to bring accurate information to the public's attention (like Dennis Prager and PragerU). These Big Tech companies claim to be "fact-checkers" trying to prevent false information; instead, they help those who are disseminating inaccurate or deceitful information by blocking the public's access to truth.
Our institutions of higher education should be ground zero for the pursuit of truth. Instead, our younger generations are being taught that America is a fundamentally racist country and therefore irredeemable; that all white people are guilty of "systemic racism"; that racism and free market capitalism are the sources of all our societal ills; that individuals are not responsible for the poor choices they make, but others, collectively, are responsible; that socialism and even communism — systems that have failed abysmally, at great human cost — will bring about equity and universal prosperity.
We see no more willingness to tell the truth about human biology. It is now considered an impermissible breach of social propriety to speak the truth that a child in utero is a human being; that only women can menstruate or bear children; that biological men have physical advantages that make athletic competition with biological females profoundly unfair; that "gender" — and there are now dozens of them — is not separate from biological sex; that men cannot become women and women can become men by sheer force of will; and that it is neither bigoted nor hateful to dare to suggest otherwise.
But even before the transgender craze took hold, our society had been destroying the innocence of our children by exposing them to every conceivable sexual practice, encouraging sexual experimentation, glorifying promiscuity and normalizing abortion. This despite reams of evidence showing the correlation between sexual activity in young people and low self-esteem, self-destructive behaviors, anxiety, depression, the explosion of sexually transmitted diseases and chronic poverty.
How can a society survive when truth is banned, when its government is corrupt, when its media are complicit, when its educational institutions preach falsehoods, when its adult members care more for public opinion and their own sexual gratification than they do the health of its children?
The short answer is that it cannot.
To find out more about Laura Hollis and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.