To the editor:
Expression of opinion is good but expression of an informed opinion is better. What is the value of an opinion that ignores the true fact?
A strong democratic society is based upon expression of informed opinion culminating in votes and common direction. Thus the value of education, investigative reporting and freedom of debate.
On the other hand, a dictatorship relies upon blind faith and group think where the ends justify the means. ‘Just get the job done, we don’t care how you do it.’ Promoters of truth of fact and the rule of law are obstructionists and enemies of the state. For those not wanting to be confused by the truth, the only rebuttal is to shoot or discredit the messenger.
The media is the strongest messenger. We are indebted to the critical press, including this paper, for documenting word- for-word the tweets and lies of a bully politician. A leader under investigation for being assisted to office, in no small measure, by a shadowy Russian/big money connection. A leader who maintains power by hood-winking supporters with a we/they mentality of continuing fear and conflict.
Many believers are so mesmerized that they refuse to see or listen or think. Some proudly express their reluctance to follow events because their glorious leader, “the best president ever”, has labelled all media disclosure as left wing “fake news.”
But dictatorships don’t just happen. They require the blind faith support of those swayed more by slogans than truth, or those just too busy to care.
I am haunted by memories of a visit with family and friends in Germany just after the fall of the Berlin wall. I was struck deeply by the emotional angst of a good people still dealing with an identity crisis and ongoing recovery from a false prophet whose key promise was to “make Germany great again.”
Ian Royce Sisett, Kelowna
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