Carla is a writer for the The Right Side of Truth website who was gracious enough to allow UShypocrisy.com to publish her original material. This is her own opinion piece. I had no involvement in writing this though I do concur with much of what she’s saying in this piece.
How the Government Keeps Getting Away with Lying to Us
It’s no secret that the government lies to us. Whether it’s during election campaigns, regarding policy or covering up what our secret services are doing, untruths from the political class are met with minor outrage and then quickly swept under the rug.
However, at a time where the state of international politics is more fragile than ever, the constant stream of lies is beginning to enrage the average voter. The US, the UK and many European countries have witnessed a rise of anti-establishment candidates, representing our fatigue with a political system that so heavily relies on falsehood.
The question is, with a growing demand for transparency in politics, how is it that the government is continuously getting away with lying to the electorate?
There are several reasons:
Although we talk about a free press in America, the case is far from the truth. As of today, only six corporations control the entirety of the US media. This wonderful infographic by Business Insider UK breaks down what that means in further detail. The most harrowing fact displayed is that 232 media executives decide what information all 277 million American citizens see.
Investigating further, it soon becomes clear why government lies go unchecked. The relationship between the USA’s top media moguls and leading politicians is more than just professional. Many industry leaders have intimate and personal relationships with some of the countries most powerful people.
Currently, the most shameful example of this is the blossoming ‘bromance’ between Donald Trump and Rupert Murdoch, owner of News Corp. Alongside making the New York Times list of Trump’s top influencers, it has been revealed that Murdoch calls the White House almost every day.
The Trump/Murdoch relationship is not the first instance of the President being pals with the outlets who broadcast his actions. Considering this, it’s unsurprising that mainstream media outlets often fail to highlight political lies or investigate discrepancies.
Not only does the government influence their controlled news outlets, but they also attempt to silence alternative voices. The internet has provided an incredible chance for individual people to share their stories and ideas, which would otherwise go unheard. For example, after the recent London terror attacks, hundreds of Muslims took to the streets in an anti-ISIS protest. While the mainstream media was silent, social networks and alternative news sites were quick to tell the story.
Unfortunately, the government is also making moves to shut down this voice where they can. Even in the United States, there is a nationwide blacklisting policy that censor websites we don’t even know exist. While many of these sites may be criminal or dangerous, they could also contain valuable information that could change the political narrative. We have already seen the lengths the government has gone to so they can silence Julian Assange, owner of WikiLeaks.
What’s more worrying is that the number of censorship requests from the government has risen severely under Donald Trump. This fact suggests we’re entering a political era where silencing whistleblowers is the order of the day. Fortunately, the government has yet to target proxy software, which has already been made illegal in some countries. So, for now, we can get around the blocks on online information.
The system protects itself. This is something we’ve seen over and over again throughout political history. Those who create and affect the laws are always given lenience, and punishment depends heavily on social standing. Arrests, convictions, and sentencing are reliant on your job, race and class. It is this ancient system that sees police officers walk free after killing unarmed black men, while African Americans will regularly receive over 25-year sentences for non-violent crimes.
Unfortunately, this systemic prejudice means government lies often go unpunished. Knowing the unlikelihood for repercussions, politicians continuously offer misinformation and act unjustly and, often, illegally.
The recent election was an outstanding example of this. Both candidates, Donald Trump and Hilary Clinton, have a shady history. Throughout his campaign, Trump received 15 sexual assault allegations, alongside claims he had not paid previous contractors for completed work. Similarly, Hillary Clinton was found with classified and top-secret material in private email servers. Both of these situations would have led to legal action for an average citizen, but neither politician saw consequences for breaking the law.
In 2016, the Oxford Dictionary’s Word of the Year provided an illuminating reflection on the state of government lies. Post-truth describes circumstances in which ‘objective fact is less influential than appeals to emotional and personal belief.’ We are living in a post-truth society, in which politicians are judged by charisma over policy and speeches over actions. While the mass population repeatedly accepts the mainstream media narrative and allow lies to go unchallenged, our age of misinformation is doomed to continue.
However, the question remains whether ‘post-truth’ exists due to general ignorance, or as an inherent flaw in human nature. In the modern world, politics and entertainment go hand-in-hand. Satire pieces, memes and Twitter wars are all symptoms of a society who wants the news to be emotive and evocative. We don’t want to accept the harsh reality of boring facts; we’d rather laugh at Trump’s latest social media scandal or Bernie Sanders in a Thug Life Remix video.
Could it be the case that the government gets away with lies because we are feeding a culture of exaggeration and untruth online?
Whether you agree with this final statement or not, it’s undeniable that the system is fixed. With the backing of media, legislation, and justice, the political elite is weaving an elaborate thread of lies that continue to go unchallenged. If we can’t find a way to counteract this, more lives will be lost in the name untruth! Leave a comment below to share your own outrage and thoughts.
About the Author: Carla is an alternative news blogger who is determined to get the truth out there. She sees the flaws and hypocrisy in the system and believes it’s our responsibility to try and change it. She believes the revolution will be digital!