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Posted on Jun 7, 2019

Letter to the editor: National unity faltering

National unity faltering
Our country is engaged in an ongoing struggle to experience a sense of national unity. Ever since 1776 we’ve been dealing with our differences of race, religion, nationality, politics and economic disparity hoping to cobble together a sense of unity as Americans. We’ve managed to be united in our “silo” identities bonding with people who look, talk and believe like we do – (the small “us” and “ours” of our “silo” identities), but we’re finding it more difficult to be united with a whole nation of people who, even though they’re fellow Americans, often do not share our political or cultural beliefs and traditions – (the large “us” and “ours” of our American identity).
A new (and not new) form of dividedness we’re experiencing in the 21st century has to do with truth. In the book “Post-Truth,” published by MIT Press, Lee McIntyre, professor of History of Science at Boston University and an Instructor in Ethics at Harvard University, helps us understand what’s going on in the search for truth in our American society and, for that matter, throughout the world.
He says the path of “feelings,” “emotions” and “ideology” (what we want or wish to be the truth) has become a popular path to truth in our country, more popular than the path of factual evidence. As far as the news media is concerned, he points out that news reporters/organizations are at risk of filtering the truth through a political or religious ideology (or leader) with the result that we often do not end up with objective truth based on factual evidence (facts) but a biased version of the truth (“fake news”) that serves only one’s own political interests.
I haven’t even scratched the surface of the book “Post-Truth.” It’s in the library. A good read.
Ron Moen,
Quincy