Truth must prevail over fear-mongering |

Truth must prevail over fear-mongering

In December, a survey of more than 15,000 people in 11 countries commissioned by the European Council on Foreign Relations showed that majorities in key member states now think the U.S. political system is broken. Not a very surprising observation by our allies across the pond. That conclusion can similarly be reached by our own citizenship as evidenced by the extreme polarization engulfing our nation today.

The problem is there is no solution in sight because this polarization is propelled by a rigorous right-wing communication network that has learned that the promotion of fear and hate is extraordinarily profitable.

This actually began with Rush Limbaugh in 1988. He quickly understood there was a large vulnerable (gullible) seam of Americans who would find his inflammatory rhetoric enormously appealing and readily embraced by the Republican Party. Rush milked it for the remainder of his life. It is estimated that his net worth upon passing was $600 million. And like all profitable ventures, there followed a stream of copycats that eventually led to the creation of Fox News and other, lesser outlets.

Thus, a multibillion-dollar industry evolved that has successfully divided this nation, almost to the point of no return. I say “almost” only in a hopeful manner, because I have to believe we are intrinsically better than that, but so far what can be observed continues to be disappointing.

We must break this cycle of hate and fear — it should not be impossible — it is based upon misinformation and outright lies. This phenomenon reached a national apex surrounding the Nov. 3 general election and has continued without abatement for the reason set forth above — it is extraordinarily profitable (financially for some, politically for others).

Of course, the only way to defeat lies is with the truth. But truth often has an uncanny way of getting drowned out by liars.

So how do we prevail?

Donald Flaks

Missouri Heights

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