Former Vice President Joe Biden last week said, “We choose unity over division. We choose science over fiction. We choose truth over facts.” The first two choices are obviously false. The Democrats have chosen and actively are pursuing the exact opposite; division over unity and fiction over science.
Old Joe has been saying some incredibly stupid things recently, even by gaffe-a-day Biden standards. He just claimed students from the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting came to see him while he was vice president. Joe’s term of office ended in January 2017. The shooting occurred over a year later, in February 2018.
Joe recently was asked how many genders there are. Joe gave his best answer of the week: “There are at least three.” The question is based on the left’s preference to talk about gender, an area that can be fluid; outward appearance, behavior, and the like. They don’t want to discuss science which mandates two sexes.
The revelation for me came from looking at that third item on Sleepy Joe’s list: truth over facts. At first, his choice of words sounds absurd. Normal people decide what the truth is based on the facts, the evidence. Truth depends on the facts, the evidence. How do you choose between them?
That’s Your Pravda
Then I remembered something from my graduate work in Russian and East European Studies. We were taught that there were two Russian words for truth: pravda and istina. Pravda carried the connotation of including a sense of justice, while istina was more the rock-solid truth that comes from evidence or scientific research.
The infamous Soviet newspaper Pravda originally was called “Workers Truth” when translated from the Russian. You see there the parallel to social justice. Joe is comparing a “truth” that reflects particular values to the truth that comes from facts and evidence.
We’ve all heard some leftist say, “That’s your truth,” as if facts are malleable based on our world view or politics. Looking at the video, the crowd was with Joe in his understanding of truth versus facts. Thus we should conclude that the leftists who use such rhetoric do not see themselves as liars or ignorant of the facts, but instead, they see themselves as champions of some higher truth.
We have become familiar with the concept of social justice. Social justice is not simple justice. It is about perpetrating injustice upon one person or group in order to dispense more to those who now or historically have had less. Biden, the Left, and the Democratic Party have all embraced social justice to some degree. We may even call them socialist.
Perpetuating the Ferguson Lie
It was no surprise that Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) used the fifth anniversary of the Michael Brown shooting in Ferguson, Missouri to make a false and inflammatory statement. They both claimed that Michael Brown was murdered. It was certainly a surprise to the fact-checkers at the Washington Post, FactCheck, and Vox, all of whom used the Obama Justice Department report to remind us that the autopsy, witnesses, and other evidence all showed convincingly that Brown was not holding his hands up in surrender when he was shot. He was shot in self-defense while advancing on a police officer.
Politifact ignored the facts and truth-telling in order to introduce a different truth that ignores the facts and evidence. They tweeted, “Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren called Michael Brown’s killing in Ferguson a ‘murder.’ Legally, it wasn’t. How much should this word choice matter?”
So to the Left, it doesn’t matter what the autopsy report says, what the witnesses say, or what the other evidence shows. Michael Brown may not actually have held his hands up in surrender and said, “Don’t shoot.” But he was a disadvantaged black man, and white men have all the advantages. White cops are even worse. They must be racist, because they arrest, shoot, or incarcerate more black men than they do white men. It’s just not fair.
Don’t repeat the statistics that most black men are killed by other black men. Don’t cite the studies that have shown police are more reluctant to shoot a black man resisting arrest than a white one. Don’t notice that black men commit more crime, proportionally or otherwise. Those facts are irrelevant. It’s not fair.
Politifact admits that “legally” it wasn’t murder, then proceeds to ignore the facts to ask if that word “murder” really matters. Apparently, words like murder, racist, white supremacist, dictator, and Hitler can be used to describe something or someone when the facts show them to not be true. It seems to depend on something like “doublethink” where things can be both false, but true in some people’s minds. Nineteen Eighty-Four seems to have arrived in those minds.
Now to channel my inner Magnum, I know what you’re thinking. How does this help us expose fake news and persuade people that the media narrative is false? You might even want to know how does this help me in my next argument with a socialist?
First, let me suggest that you read a great article by Scott Adams, “The ‘Fine People’ Hoax Funnel.” The process he describes can help you get the person suffering cognitive dissonance to a place where they are forced to confront the gap between what they have believed and the facts.
Can you change their minds? In Adams’ experience and mine, you will seldom see someone admit they were wrong. The few who do often later relapse or disappear from the place where you encountered them. But there are people every day who are changing their minds and walking away.
I don’t think we should quit just because we don’t see immediate results. We should learn to enjoy the process and get better at it through experience.
I also think this should help us see that many leftists are not necessarily ignorant or evil. Their belief in some higher truth may be misguided and wrong, but their goal or desire is for something better. We should remember not only to treat them in a civil manner, but as someone seeking a better society, a better world. I don’t do that very well. I hope this new insight improves my attitude.
In short, keep engaging, be civil, and try to find something good in misguided human beings. You might even find a new friend or a champion like some in the #WalkAway movement. Remember that the purported goals of the Communist Manifesto are universal peace and universal prosperity. But know and be ready to explain how the actions and processes of socialists never lead to those goals—indeed, they lead to the exact opposite.