As the situation concerning the mass murder of children in Uvalde gets worse, let’s break it down into its components. First and foremost, assault rifles need to be banned permanently and in their entirety for this to never happen again. We’re going to vote as if our children’s lives depend on it and we will get rid of these evil guns in our society. But secondly, we have to start calling these people on their lies. On Twitter, there were postings claiming the killer was trans, then there were postings saying he was illegal. Neither were true, but that’s not the point. The children would have been dead whether the killer was trans, illegal, white male Republican or plaid. The point is that the propaganda machine wanted to trigger the Fox News, Greg Abbott, talking points about the evils of trans people and illegals. They wanted you to hate the killer for their purposes, not because he had mowed down innocents.
Every writer is a defender of free speech, but spin is not lies. There’s a difference between turning a story toward your point of view and out-and-out fabricating untruths to make your point. All news outlets have spin which is why we advocate watching and reading a multiplicity of them to get the full picture. But not all of them lie with the frequency of Fox News and other right-wing outlets. Lies make you go down rabbit holes from which you cannot easily emerge, spin makes you see things from a certain point of view.
In Nazi Germany, the lies escalated to the point that when your Jewish neighbors were hauled off, everyone was fine with it because Jews were the reason for everything bad in society. Otherwise good people were absolutely convinced of that and at the end of the war, when the concentration camps were being revealed, Germans either refused to believe they’d done such things or, as many of them did, they secretly applauded it as a necessary evil to achieve their “decent” agenda for their country.
There are always going to be people who are unwittingly attracted to evil when it appeals to them in the right way. The hardcore Trumpsters are proof of this. There’s no lie they won’t believe if it’s spoken by Trump. But there are also lots of misdirected good people who suddenly wake up and see things clearly. These are the hearts and minds that will take up gun control. These are the folks who need the lies exposed and debunked so they can see for themselves what’s behind the wizard’s curtain.
The secret to a flourishing society isn’t just laws and kindness, it’s also vigilance against evils, most of which are lies. Let sunlight pour in after this nightmare. Speak up, march on, tell every Senator and Congressman, preacher and corporate chief, that if they lie, you will call them out on it.