The Death of Truth is Leading America to Tyranny
©2018 CLIFFORD C. NICHOLS
Our nation is undeniably in the throes of a number of cultural paradigm shifts.
Our notions of who we are, what our institutions stand for, which of our laws are to be enforced and even the meaning of our Constitution, are in a state of complete disequilibrium, if not absolute upheaval.
Consider just a few of the conundrums presently confronting America:
Protests by people who, not liking their duly elected President, are projecting images of “fascism” upon his Administration to justify their own calls to “resist” with violent and destructive behavior;
People decrying the horrors of ripping children away from parents who are attempting to illegally invade our nation’s borders, while at the same time proclaiming it to be a constitutional right to kill other children who inconveniently, yet naturally only want to cross the border of their mother’s womb;
People demanding that full constitutional protections be afforded to all things LGBTQ, while also declaring it our nation’s humanitarian duty to open our borders to all members of a particular faith that would have all members of LGBTQ put to death; and
People shamelessly coordinating the assassination of a man’s character while cloaked behind a thin façade of their “only wanting to maintain the integrity of the Supreme Court.”
Contradictions like these evidence a state of social and cultural confusion in America that defies both logic and reason.
Clearly, nobody with any regard for “truth” can possibly embrace such irreconcilable positions at the same time.
And yet, millions of people living among us clearly do.
How can this be explained?
I suggest it is because our society has unwittingly made choices in recent years that have destroyed the legitimacy of “truth” and replaced it with people’s self-serving individual “perceptions,” “spins” and “narratives.”
The origins of this social trajectory probably could be traced back to the late ’60s.
That is when many among the youth of that day leveraged Nietzsche’s proclamation that “God is dead,” supplanting His precepts with their own feel-good philosophies like:
Do your own thing, man;
If it feels right, do it;
Make love, not war; and
Go with the flow.
Before long, however, the lifestyles that these mantras unleashed among us quickly evolved into that generation’s acceptance of even bolder notions, like the "goodness" of:
Free sex; and even
If you're not with the one you love, love the one you're with.
Cultural practices like these appealed to the young of that day because they afforded them a newfound sense of what they termed “freedom.”
And, to be honest, few in that generation wanted to believe that such “freedom” was not “good.”
But to pursue that "good," they also had to liberate themselves from many of the constraints imposed by the “traditions” of their parents.
What they failed to fully appreciate at the time, however, was that those “traditions” that served to maintain civility in society were not so much the creations of their parents, as they were reflections of guidelines set by the God their parents worshipped.
Thus, that generation largely overlooked the moral significance of their replacing their parents’ “traditions” with their own self-determined — and therefore ever-shifting — morality of humanism.
We invited a “morality” to take center stage that was somewhat akin to the ethical brain-child that might have resulted were Buddha and Janice Joplin to have experienced a Vulcan mind-meld.
It was a “morality” that allowed us to proclaim any lifestyle we happened to want as "good” (i.e., moral) simply because we had decided we wanted it to be considered “good.”
Unfortunately for us, however, this humanist moral “standard” was also applied by many to the lies they found themselves having to tell to conceal the darker consequences of this new “morality” — such as, fractured relationships and lives caused by cheating, adultery, abortion, single parent homes, teen pregnancies and STD’s, to name a few.
Thus, they came to find themselves needing to maintain the “goodness” of their new lifestyles by concurrently debasing the value of “truth,” and deadening society to the inherent evil of the lies they had to tell to keep it “good.”
And that perhaps is what spawned one of the most insidious mantras to ever come out of that era: “So, I lied.”
Sadly, those three little words not only became emblematic of the moral tone that prevailed in that generation, but that also metastasized in the generations that followed to bring about many of the consequences of the death of truth we are witnessing today:
A place where the liars among us give little — if any — thought any more to routinely torturing both logic and reason to re-mold their “truths” to fit either their personal needs or political agendas; and
A place where what is "good" and what is "evil" has been allowed to become solely dependent on the mind of the individual who is contemplating any given course of conduct at any particular moment.
Such is the recipe for any society’s eventual deconstruction. And, perhaps is why many among us feel we are rapidly approaching some kind of an as of yet undefined, though palpably dangerous and imminent systemic breakdown.
The maintenance of any acceptable degree of stable social order is dependent on the ability of people to be able to rely upon the truth of the information they receive from others.
However, when people no longer share a common moral language by which truth can be defined and relied upon, their reliance on truth can only be replaced by distrust.
As a result, that people’s willingness to engage in many socially productive activities cannot avoid becoming inhibited, and in some cases will cease altogether.
Eventually, a consequent fog of fear, menace, division, and inevitable hate will cause meaningful social communications, negotiations, and compromises to be replaced by a corrupted social order where conflicts come to be resolved by methods that are — shall we say — less than civilized.
In a word: Anarchy.
Interestingly, is this not descriptive of the cultural fog in which many of us feel we are living today?
Consider only the following few indicia of such anarchy that has occurred in America in just the last few months:
The intended absolutes of our Constitution being displaced by those who require it to be made a “living” document to suit their personal agendas;
Our reverence for Due Process being upended by those who exhibit no shame in wrongfully leveraging popular social movements like #MeToo to their political advantage;
Our nation’s borders being advanced upon, and perhaps soon invaded, by foreigners with the approval and support of many Americans;
Our religious freedoms being repeatedly challenged and attacked by those who claim to be defenders, if not champions, of politically correct notions like tolerance and diversity;
Our receipt of unvarnished news and information being tarnished by its being passed on to us through the filters of media outlets today that are committed almost entirely to giving us either slanted — if not outright censored — sound-bites or politically-oriented “opinion” programming;
Our nation’s commitment to the Rule of Law being abandoned by those authorized to enforce our laws — like, the United States Department of Justice — who continue to not prosecute an incredible number of felonies committed by the powerful and elite among us;
Our duly elected officials being physically threatened repeatedly by politicians and celebrities who publicly both endorse and encourage their followers to consider the “goodness” of and the “need for” mob violence, public harassment, and, if possible, even the assassination of their political enemies;
Our politicians and media outlets allegedly being mailed bombs packaged by people and for purposes not yet fully known; and now, most recently,
Innocent Jews celebrating a bris being tragically murdered in Pittsburgh that has been linked to a monster’s hatred of our President because our country’s support for the State of Israel.
History suggests that any society where such anarchy is allowed to proliferate will eventually be led into some form of tyranny.
In light of this fact, the first question we should all be asking is whether we have crossed the Rubicon to a place where the emergence of tyranny, in some form or another, is now foreseeable?
Holding to a hope that that is not the case, before we reach that point of no return perhaps all of us in America would do well to unify at least long enough to consider together the full import of the following statement very carefully. It was made by an individual who had far more insight into the causes and consequences of his own society’s decline into tyranny than any of us should ever want to possess concerning our own:
"I have spent well-nigh fifty years working on the history of our [Russian] Revolution…. if I were asked today to formulate as concisely as possible the main cause of the ruinous Revolution that swallowed up some sixty million of our people, I could not put it more accurately than to repeat: Men have forgotten God; that's why all this has happened." — Aleksander Solzhenitsyn, circa 1983
At minimum, America should heed Solzhenitsyn’s words as a prescient warning to us all:
In the absence of God, people are left to depend only on those who obtain power over them to define what is evil.
The next immediate question then should be whether America today still has both the ability and a willingness to set aside ideological differences in order to unite in furtherance of a greater cause —to avoid tyranny, America’s immediate need to re-chart its present course in order to restore among us all a respect for the sanctity of “truth?”
Of course, even were this option to remain available to us today, the fulfillment of our hope would ultimately depend on whether the God we have chosen to abandon in recent years will remain willing today to grace America with yet another opportunity to become as great as it once was — the greatest of any nation to ever bless mankind — before we chose to put to death His truth.
Thus, perhaps the mantra — God bless America — should really become our prayer.
That is … a prayer to a God who hates liars and has declared the lies they tell to be inherently evil.
And that is the TRUTH … So help me God.
Clifford C. Nichols is an attorney licensed to practice in California and New Mexico. Any comments or questions regarding this editorial may be directed to him at email@example.com or www.cnicholslaw.com.