Whose truth?

To the editor:

People employ different means to seek the truth. Some employ intuition; they go with their gut. Some go along with whatever pack with which they identify; a kind of herd mentality. Others habitually seek a contrarian view; they seek to go it alone.

Others allow for supernatural cause and effect; suggesting there’s some secret actor pulling strings in the background.

Others insist that they only accept that which can be directly observed or clearly inferred from those direct observations.

Most of us actually employ some mixture of these modalities depending on the demands of the moment. On Sunday, or in extreme emergencies, we give credence to the intervention of secret string pullers. The rest of the time, we might go with our gut and might even tolerate an occasional quasi-logical review of the evidence.

If people were purely logical, there wouldn’t be casinos or day traders in the stock markets. If people were purely superstitious, the hospitals and doctors’ offices would be empty and all the church pews would be filled to the brim.

What’s scary about all of this is that politicians and other con artists know exactly how to manipulate us based on our group and individual truth-seeking tendencies. They know that “bread and circus (tax reduction schemes and professional sports)” tend to appease more people than science and reason.

Politicians know how to precisely hit the “hot buttons” of their target audiences. Wave a few flags, print your motto on baseball caps, and you can distract team-oriented followers while you’re simultaneously conniving to eliminate their health insurance and their job.

It’s just as dangerous when those who claim to be scientists take on the role of the moralist. When scientists say, “you don’t need a face mask” because they “feel” that truly effective and scarce face masks should be reserved for medical personnel, they run the risk of losing their scientific credibility.

Dear Leader says that all kids, regardless of the state of the pandemic where they live, must go back to school this fall for their own good. For whose good, Dear Leader?

Outraged by That Woman demanding you wear a face covering while shopping? A violation of your rights, you say? Tell those precious members of your Greatest Generation who are desperately gasping for air in over-capacity intensive care units about your face-mask outrage.

Either everybody counts, or nobody counts.


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