WE WILL: let fact dictate truth.
In the world of science there is an adage that goes something like this: You never prove anything; you just assimilate relative information and report the findings.
From the findings, most scientists can begin making correlations and start the process of drawing conclusions. This rigorous scientific process has stood the test of time and yielded valuable insight into the workings of the Universe.
Historically, journalists and politicians followed similar guidelines. Journalists acting like field researchers were the boots on the ground; they were nonbiased observers and reporters of what was/had happened. They seldom sought to infer meaning to events, but instead translated as much information as they could witness to “the press” with the purpose of communicating unblemished fact.
Sometimes before the information reached mass media, sometimes after, pundits and politicians would start collecting all relevant reports on a subject and begin debate in effort to assign a common truth to an event.
This process provided integrity to the democratic system and allowed for individual bias to be washed away from the conversation. America suffers today from a lack of “common truth.” Some people argue it is the result of social media; others believe it is malicious foreign adversaries. The most dubious theory of all suggests our own government is sowing conspiracy with the intent to create divisions that lead to restrictions on civil liberties and, ultimately, a concentration of power among a few established leaders. Regardless of who or what is to blame for this perceived erosion of the truth, the lack of common consensus is among the greatest threats to the security of our United States. In the absence of common truth, America will be unable to command the future because of a lack of understanding of the shortcomings or success of past policy.