How much of what you are hearing is propaganda?
How would you know? What methods are practical in discerning truth from error? Who do you believe? What do you believe? Why do you believe it?
These are questions I have been asking myself. A few of my young students are hearing things at home and using me as a sounding board. “Out of the mouths of babes,” so to speak. You can see it in their eyes. They are confused and don’t really know what to think. Their Civics teacher should know, right? Wrong. I am struggling to find the truth, too. I get frustrated when I think back over my lifetime and how many facts trickled out drip by drip years later. Do we only see, read, and hear what “they” want us to see, read, and hear? And who are “they?” By what authority do they screen the information? Where can we go to dig for accuracy?
First, know this about being “first.” The first reports of any news story are rarely accurate. The goal is not accuracy. It’s “first” that counts.
If you are consuming the old familiar sources for news that you trust, think again. I search radio stations in other parts of the USA, podcasts, international newspapers, and news articles that have been screened by “reliable sources.” I prefer internet search engines that don’t track my personal information or give me info from content farms. In other words, I search for facts, not someone else’s agenda. It doesn’t take much time once you try it. It used to take a lot more time to go to a library to read periodicals and encyclopedias.
When a news source tells you that something (or someone) isn’t true, how do you know they’re telling the truth? Who are the “they”? If you can’t answer that question with certainty, you don’t know how much or little the report is fact-driven. Hold the information with a loose hand. Don’t be driven by emotion. Wash, rinse, repeat. Don’t be driven by emotion. Oh, and the fact-checkers: who are they, and what are their credentials? How are they able to know “the truth” of the matter?
There is a war that is taking place. We know what we see with our own eyes. But beware of another war going on in the background. It is the war to win your opinion and emotions, then destroy the opposition.
I don’t have all the information or answers I need, but I continue to search, read, and listen. It’s one way to develop “discernment muscle.” We may not know the whole truth, but if we seek, we will find it, eventually. The truth always comes to light. With time, lies and liars are exposed.
Meanwhile, don’t be led astray. Hold information with a loose hand until the facts become apparent. Don’t destroy a friend or family member with an argument that is someone else’s. Do your own search. Stand up for what you believe, but don’t be a useful tool in the hands of propagandists. 🇺🇸