What is the truth?

The nation must be told the truth.

Conventional wisdom however suggests that politicians never tell the truth but always tell lies. This is because politicians must always struggle between their own knowledge of fact and their personal and political interests which take precedence.

 In fact politics and truth, it has been said, cannot used in the same sentence.

Instead of accepting the truth as a given, politicians relegate the truth to a subjective notion open to debate and contestation. The truth becomes a subject of adversarial contestation and eventually becomes blurred in political white noise.

Instead of accepting that the truth would set them free  politicians tend to ignore the truth and instead resort to spin.

Fortunately with modern technology some truths are “self evident” although surprisingly political ideology and ethos thrives on denial and impossibility. If anything politicians create a make believe reality that is not based on truth, but to which the electorate is canvassed.

Modern media has made it harder for politicians to lie, resulting in a forced transparency which has made truth a very uncomfortable reality.

That is why the public sometimes has more information than the politicians who are desperately trying to make their version of truth acceptable. This has only made politicians more unbelievable. The public believe that there is little or no truth in politics hence politicians are held in fairly low esteem.

If by per misadventure the truth is ever told by a politician it will suffer resistance and disbelief because of the proverbial characterization of politics as a self seeking occupation which puts self interest before anything else.

It is however imperative that the truth is told because continued denial and self seeking will not serve the interests of the country. If anything it will breed, confusion, mistrust and at worst generate rumours.

It is one thing to make election promises that are not fulfilled and another to mislead, misguide and deliberately underplay matters of governance. The executive function is critical to governance and deliberate attempts to misrepresent will have serious and very deleterious effect on governance.

As we have said before tempting fate is not very wise. The sooner we face reality the better. Living in denial or under the spell of spin doctors will neither change the truth nor alter the inexorable prognosis. Our refusal   to acknowledge an unacceptable truth or indeed fail to admit it into consciousness will not change reality it will only delays it- at a cost.

Categorized | Editorial

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