A voting watchdog group from Colorado, in conjunction with six Georgia voters, filed a lawsuit in Federal Court Monday to void results of the June 20 runoff between Karen Handel (R) and Jon Ossoff (D). The suit alleges that voting machines used by Georgia elections officials are not suitable or legal for use in elections because — among other issues — they are susceptible to hacking and do not have a verifiable paper ballot.
The immediate response to the suit from Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp, one of the named defendants, was typical of today’s political climate. In a brief statement, Kemp assured the public that the touchscreen machines used in Georgia are safe and that “Anything to the contrary is fake news.”
Fake news is insulting.
In the old days, politicians used to be at least slightly creative with their denials and cover-ups. Since the Trump regime assumed control in Washington, Americans have witnessed the phenomena of fake news grow with lightning speed. The cancellations of audio- and video-recorded White House press briefings have enabled the ease in which officials are able to rely on fake news to accomplish their various disabling agendas.
We like be lied to. A lie, as heinous as it may be on the surface, gives us the opportunity to think, analyze, and respond. As soon as a lie leaves the offender’s lips, most people begin to dissect and investigate its veracity. A lie forces most people to use their intellect to parse the language and determine what elements are true or false in an effort to make an informed conclusion about the liar.
Fake news, on the other hand, presents an opposite connotation. When a person advocates fakeness, they imply that there is no reason to question or investigate. Fake in the context of news suggests mootness and that the issue does not exist. Therefore, there are no underlying facts to scrutinize or stones to turn.
There is an inherent danger in using the term fake news, because there is a certain cohort of the population that will invariably accept that there is no need for further inquiry. Contrarily, anytime any public official mentions “fake” in the current political climate, it should compel every citizen to prick her ears in alert and mistrust. Fake has become an indicator of more nefarious and hidden meanings.
Responsible citizenship demands that we not accept that which we are told is fake. Instead, we must investigate, evaluate, and seek truth. It is why we have brains, educations, and intellect. It is our duty to exercise them and remain vigilantly alert for that which would threaten our way of life — our freedoms, rights, and values.
It is easy to find examples of when in history people have accepted fake for various reasons. There are still disbelievers of the United States’ moon landing and conspiracy theorists who maintain that Hitler’s murder of millions never happened. Every person has, and is entitled to, an opinion. However, opinion pales as ignorance in the face of fact, investigation, and observation.
It is a sad day for America when we are begging for our leaders to have the decency to lie to us instead of coping out to fake news. Though our world standing in education is slipping, and we are too busy to invest the time to answer every question, a majority of Americans are still intelligent and rational. We want to listen, to discover, and to arrive at our own conclusions without someone calling us stupid by not lying to us.