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Does the truth matter anymore?

prasad1

Well-known member
I am posting this in the General Discussion section, as it is not limited to politics.

When do lies matter? If you asked supporters of President Trump Wednesday, most of them likely would have said lies matter greatly, that you can’t trust a liar, especially one like Michael Cohen.
After all, the man pleaded guilty last year to lying to Congress.
Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, the top Republican on the House Oversight and Reform Committee, called Cohen a “fraudster, cheat” and “a convicted felon.”

“Certainly it’s the first time a convicted perjurer has been brought back to be a star witness at a hearing,” Jordan said.
Those are good points.
But politicians lie all the time, and no one seems to get too worked up about it anymore. The president himself struggles with the truth often, yet his supporters do not cry foul.

So why the double standard when it comes to truth-telling? Could it be that today’s political climate is so polarized, so ugly, that nothing anyone says can change our minds? Could it be we have retreated too far into our dark corners to see the light of truth?
It feels like every issue is viewed through a political lens these days. Our views on education, taxes, immigration, religion— the list goes on and on and covers every facet of life — are filtered through our politics. It forces us further into tribes of like-minded individuals, to the point where when our enemy lies it is unconscionable but when our hero does it we barely bat an eye.
Cohen’s testimony about Trump being a racist, a conman and a fraud will not convince any of the president’s supporters that he should not be in the White House, because many of those supporters simply will not believe Cohen. A liar always lies, right?
Likewise, Cohen’s testimony will only reinforce the views of those who believe Trump should be kicked out. It won’t matter that Cohen is a convicted liar, he must be telling the truth now because we like what we hear, right?

Cohen’s testimony probably won’t matter in the end. Politicians of all kinds will go on lying and Americans will continue to believe what they want. Truth has become malleable, or simply ignored, and we are all worse off for it.

 

prasad1

Well-known member
Early this week, the Prime Minister Narendra Modi made his hardest choice by launching an airstrike on terrorist targets in Pakistan in response to the Pulwama attack. It was the deadliest terror attack in the valley on our security forces, killing 40 CRPF jawans. The terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed operating out of Pakistan took responsibility for this diabolical act.

It was a firm and audacious response by Prime Minister Modi. No such strike has been undertaken since 1971, and given the kind of country Pakistan is, it could not have been an easy decision to make.

Pakistan is a bonsai democracy on the brink of bankruptcy. It's driven by the compulsions of the Army. Truly, it's an Army with a country and not the other way around. At every opportunity, they threaten us with their nuclear weapons.

This time, Prime Minister Modi called their bluff. India was careful to couch its attack as a "non-military, pre-emptive strike" and reach out to the international community to create a diplomatic firewall around its right to respond to a grave provocation. But, inevitably, the escalatory cycle has begun. We are already engaged in an air warfare at the LOC.

Today, the situation looks grim and murky; as claims and counter claims abound. Both sides can be accused of propaganda and misguided rhetoric. In the bargain Truth is a casualty.

War cannot be an end in itself. It's always a means. It should not be initiated by pressure of public opinion. Frankly, we cannot win with Pakistan and we don't need to. We need to know how to manage them. What we need is to neutralize their terrorist networks and what experts call a policy of routinely "mowing the grass". Means don't let terrorist networks grow.

I would like to take this opportunity to voice my pet grudge against all governments. After all, I only get a chance once a year.

I believe nothing much will change in India unless a courageous leader actually reforms the stifling Indian bureaucracy and the slothful public sector. Reform it to change their colonial attitude. They are here to serve us and democracy. Not the other way around.

The delivery of public services -- specially in the area of health, education and safety still remains pathetic. And the enterprising and creative have their energy strangulated by unnecessary rules and regulations.

 

prasad1

Well-known member
This is a critical election. A party in power with a full majority after 30 years is seeking re-election. What I do know is that the result of this election will answer some key questions for me. These are not just questions about a government's track record which every incumbent government faces. These are more fundamental questions.

# Does a full majority government deliver better development for the country than coalition governments?

# Does the country want one dominant leader or just a good team?

# What is the difference between Hindutva and Being Hindu?

# How important is social cohesion for us? Can India afford a partition of hearts?

# Where does patriotism end and nationalism begin?

# Can alliances between enemies against a common enemy, work?

# Does the electorate vote differently in state assembly elections vs. general elections? There have been 31 state elections in the past 5 years.

#How much does truth matter in elections? All parties have been economical with the truth to put it mildly. Is everything fair in love, war and elections?

#What role will social media play in 2019? Can propaganda and fake news trump reality? Today all parties have upped their social media play.

# Finally, how will Pulwama affect the elections?

The answer to these questions will shape the future of India.

Life is nothing but the choices we make. Who we marry or don't. Where we choose to live or what kind of job we take. Principles or pragmatism. Love or hate. Freedom or compliance.

We are the sum of the choices we make. I believe our voting preference is one of most crucial choices we make. It tells us who we are and perhaps even more importantly who we want to be.

 

prasad1

Well-known member


Illustration: Surendra

It isn’t just the U.S., the climate of blatant lies has permeated politics worldwide. Perhaps it is not that truth is irrelevant for politics but what is needed is a theory of truth that fits politics
Looking at the theatre of politics around us today, it is difficult not to give in to a sense of cynicism. Perhaps more than any other theme in contemporary politics, it is the prevalence of lies that characterises the current condition. This is not restricted to the multiplicity of lies that defined the American election; the climate of blatant lies has entered into the way politics is conducted across the world today.
The proliferation of public lying
The U.S. election was explicitly about brazen lies and also about the indifference of the voters to obvious lies. We seem to be more used to lies in the Indian political scene but here too the scale and the obviousness of lies seem to be increasing. In Bengaluru, in response to the massive ‘Steel Beda’ movement against a proposed 6.7-km steel flyover, the government and a minister repeatedly offered obvious obfuscation, those which they well knew could be disproved in a matter of minutes. By brazenly misrepresenting facts, the minister was acting as if politics could not be expected to speak truth.

Mechanisms which seemingly would have afforded protection against public lying have failed. Audio and video recordings of crimes are quickly dismissed by claiming that they are fabricated. Perhaps never before has it been so difficult to retain any meaningful notion of truth in the public space.

The public discourse of politics is increasingly fractured. There have been violent disagreements over the truth of the ‘surgical strikes’ across the border and although the public is supposed to consume these reports, they are not expected to have a judgment on their veracity. We have had the spectacle of not knowing whether leaders of the government and leading political parties are alive or not, or what kind of illnesses they suffer from.

Ironically this world of lies and deception is supported and made possible through assertions of one truth or the other. Each party bases their lies on claims that they are speaking the truth while their opponent is lying! Thus not only is there a cynical use of lying, there is also a cynical use of truth to ground these lies — this is the contemporary condition which has been to a large extent caused as much by media and technology as by a fall in standards of public probity.

 

prasad1

Well-known member
We not only think truth is essential when we discuss politics but we also tend to think that the truth we hold is the only truth that is possible. The answer to this conundrum is simple: it is not that truth is irrelevant for politics but what is needed is a theory of truth that fits politics. Each domain of human action creates its own notions of truth and we often use different types of truth in our social transactions. The nature of factual truth, scientific truth, religious truth, artistic truth is different and we negotiate around these truths in each of these domains. Thus, the problem about truth in politics is not that there is no possibility of truth, but that we have to come to an agreement as to the nature of truth that we need in order to ‘do’ politics. Perhaps that truth is a deep sense of personal truth based on principles of compassion and attempts to understand our ‘opponent’ instead of a truth based on so-called factual judgments of the other.

 

prasad1

Well-known member
Science has beauty, power, and majesty that can provide spiritual as well as practical fulfillment. But superstition and pseudoscience keep getting in the way providing easy answers, casually pressing our awe buttons, and cheapening the experience.
Do we care what's true? Does it matter?
where ignorance is bliss,
'Tis folly to be wise
wrote the poet Thomas Gray. But is it? Edmund Way Teale in his 1950 book Circle of the Seasons understood the dilemma better:
It is morally as bad not to care whether a thing is true or not, so long as it makes you feel good, as it is not to care how you got your money as long as you have got it.
It's disheartening to discover government corruption and incompetence, for example; but is it better not to know about it? Whose interest does ignorance serve? If we humans bear, say, hereditary propensities toward the hatred of strangers, isn't self-knowledge the only antidote? If we long to believe that the stars rise and set for us, that we are the reason there is a Universe, does science do us a disservice in deflating our conceits?

 

Jaykay767

Well-known member
Truth does matter but only to "Nuetral and independent voters" NOT aligned to any ideology and party.

Between the hardcore right and left wing, Nuetral and independent voters are the only ones who decide the election both in USA and india.
 

Jaykay767

Well-known member
And what is this greater purpose ?? 100s of millions people's lives have been destroyed by ill conceived and terribly implemented demonetisation and GST !!
 
The criticism of demonetisation is misplaced. How do we feel when many lakhs of people live in swanky palaces with five star plus life styles and pay no tax. I think the long term benefits of demonetisation is:

  1. Instilling accountability and ownership of money in possession.
  2. Increased tax base.
  3. Already the Real Estate market is collapsing and houses becomming affordable.
  4. Avenues of money laundering is reduced.
  5. Now only politics and film making are avenues for laundering.
  6. Atleast 50 thousand crores can be recovered after due legal process.
 

CHANDRU1849

Well-known member
Truth does matter but only to "Nuetral and independent voters" NOT aligned to any ideology and party.

Between the hardcore right and left wing, Nuetral and independent voters are the only ones who decide the election both in USA and india.
Independent voters have also preferences in the US. Otherwise how Republicans (pro right) and Democrats (pro left) win the race.

Preferences, prejudices, religious and economic affinity etc. are common in all countries.

US definitely is not an exception.
 

tbs

Well-known member
Independent voters have also preferences in the US. Otherwise how Republicans (pro right) and Democrats (pro left) win the race.

Preferences, prejudices, religious and economic affinity etc. are common in all countries.

US definitely is not an exception.
hi

especially in democratic countries.....
 

Jaykay767

Well-known member
Independent voters have also preferences in the US. Otherwise how Republicans (pro right) and Democrats (pro left) win the race.

Preferences, prejudices, religious and economic affinity etc. are common in all countries.

US definitely is not an exception.
Independent voters (I classify them as centre wingers) are "open to change" and are NOT wedded to any ideology and party, unlike right and left wingers.

In 2016, independents voted for trump as they were deeply concerned on the economy and most importantly on jobs. But seeing the garbage that trump is, you can be fairly confident that they will vote against him in 2020, that is if he is not impeached by then !!

In india, similarly independent voters are deeply concerned about the economy and joblessness. These people who voted for this govt in 2014, will vote against them now like they did in the assembly elections. Remember, the states they lost were the hardcore RSS labs.

So despite prejudices, preferences, etc.. for Independent voters, truth and results matter and this is a key decision input in their voting !! Ultimately these independent voter decision is what decides the election results - whether right or left wing win.
 

Jaykay767

Well-known member
For eg, for independents like me, N Ram is a stalwart in journalism and his analysis absolutely matters. Someone just saying N Ram is a joke will not change our decision (we know him for decades and value his judgement) but a cogent and a well founded rebuttal will sway our opinion. Similarly calling Rahul a Pappu or Priyanka a dynast is not going to influence us, we make our opinion based on their interactions with the press, their education, and articulation, and their election speeches !! We could be wrong in our assessments, but it is an independent opinion not based in propaganda !!!

So despite all the right wing or left wing media bias, it is the decision of the independent voters that will decide the election in close races !! How close this race is, is subject to each ones opinion.

And for these independents, truth matter !! If the economy is in such a mess, and farmers keep protesting for over 2 yrs, then we are not going to support this govt.

No prejudices, no emotions, no preferentials - my macchan is with this party, will change our decision !!
 

Jaykay767

Well-known member
The worst part is, this govt is not even willing to acknowledge the problems, and hence no corrective action.

So on what basis, can we give them another chance ? And what policies will they follow if they come to power.

They just want votes based on emotions, !!
 

prasad1

Well-known member
The criticism of demonetisation is misplaced. How do we feel when many lakhs of people live in swanky palaces with five star plus life styles and pay no tax. I think the long term benefits of demonetisation is:

  1. Instilling accountability and ownership of money in possession.
  2. Increased tax base.
  3. Already the Real Estate market is collapsing and houses becomming affordable.
  4. Avenues of money laundering is reduced.
  5. Now only politics and film making are avenues for laundering.
  6. Atleast 50 thousand crores can be recovered after due legal process.

I know your bias, I too have one.

But I see a scam when I see it.

Real estate market is collapsing in the USA too is it because of demonetization?
My friend in India sold a piece of property for INR 70 lacks, the buyer a medical doctor brought in crisp Rs 2000 notes to pay for it. My friend a BJP office-bearer took it.

So you can dream on that due legal process will work.


Yes, he had brought back every rupee from Switzerland. He had brought back $30 trillion from Switzerland, which is like Rs.15 lakhs per Indian.
Get ready to collect that money soon, he is going to distribute it to every Indian as he promised in 2014.

You bought that argument then, but you do not mind being duped again.
 

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