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Recovering backpacker, Cornwallite at heart, political enthusiast, catalyst, writer, husband, father, community volunteer, unabashedly proud Canadian. Every hyperlink connects to something related directly or thematically to that which is highlighted.

Wednesday 28 August 2013

Can We Handle The Truth?

"Truth is novel in today’s political atmosphere."

Uh, yeah.  There's a simple reason for this - the truth is complicated.  We're against complicated, these days - if a message can't be squished onto a bumper sticker or delivered in an elevator pitch, we don't want to hear it.
The truth is that politicians are human beings assigned with clearly-defined tasks, impossible-to-meet expectations and are as answerable to multiple masters as they are to themselves.  Integrity doesn't sell, unless it's bullet-proof; as none of us are Superman and there are massive armies of partisan staff looking for any and all dirt that can be flung on opponents, it's actually a risky gambit to attempt playing the holier-than-though card.
The truth is that citizens want what they want, yet by-and-large aren't willing to understand the complexities and cognitive dissonances behind those wants.  We say no to energy generation yet aren't willing to adjust consumption.  We want those damned kids to get jobs but aren't willing to adjust hiring, training and general HR practices to accommodate them.  Parents need to be accountable for kids regardless of whether they have the resources or not.  Government policy is social engineering, whereas market manipulations by communications gurus increasingly using psychology in their strategies aren't.
The truth is that we live in a vicious cycle of blame - we don't want to see, we don't want to hear because we don't want to be responsible, yet when things go wrong, we aren't willing to take the blame, either.
Absolutely, we need more truth, more integrity, more transparency in politics - but we also need more patience, more forgiveness and ownership.  We need leaders to be accountable - but we, as citizens, must equally be accountable.  Democracy is representation of the people by the people, after all - if we don't vote, don't pay attention and don't work together, who are we to blame our leaders for the failures of the system?
The truth is that to break the cycle, we all need to be honest with ourselves if we expect the same from our politicians; we're not doing that now.
Yes, the truth hurts - but it will also set you free.

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