America’s Epidemic of Dishonesty

Honesty, which direction?

Forget the flu virus, the greatest epidemic plaguing America is its populace’s cavalier coalescing around dishonest narratives.

The recent shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas in Parkland, Florida is a prime example of a nation comfortable tap dancing around reality.

Gun advocates blamed the shooting on everything but guns (in his speech at Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), NRA President Wayne LaPierre blamed seven things for the shooting, none of them were guns). Marco Rubio, the junior senator from Florida, chided everyone but his fellow lawmakers for the failure to stop repeated school shootings. Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel scolded the NRA while self-abdicating him and his office from any oversight failures.

The grander talking points around gun control overall are also void of truth. The proposed policies putting forth safeguards against the mentally ignores statistical evidence showing the mentally ill as less violent, and not more. The coalition arguing US mass shootings won’t be mitigated due to “cultural nuances” fail to support this with any anthropological data. And the idea that more armed teacher reduces the risk of school shooting is not borne out by facts.

Sadly, our contortion of the truth extends beyond guns. Our conversation concerning the 21st transition of the global economy, where we’ve recently propped up the idea of a natural resource and manufacturing insurgency is a myth. Our overall perception on social mobility is way off base. Further, America’s own perception of their level of honesty is a farce.

It is justifiable, considering the significant issues hampering this world, to accept a degree of fabrication as means to escape from the sorrows of one’s life. Or, consider common societal untruths as a feeble complaint unworthy of scrupulous examination.

But the inability to put forth an honest assessment of an issue only compounds the problem that metastasizes the hazards in our country.

Coal miners and those in old manufacturing gigs can’t be helped if we aren’t honest about the global marketplace. We cannot aid those in need if we believe those at the lower economic echelons don’t require assistance. More importantly, if we can’t even be honest about how honest we are, we bypass an important opportunity to address our nation’s shortcoming.

Because if dishonest discourse becomes the norm so too do massacres such as the ones that took place in Parkland, Florida.

We must ask ourselves if that’s worth our cozy relationship with dishonesty.

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