The Truth: A Common Ground

Truth. It seems like it’d be so simple.

It’s just facts, right? It’s something that should be easy to find or prove, right?

If you answered yes to those questions, you’re not alone. No matter how you politically identify, you simply cannot deny facts…REAL FACTS, that is.

And if you do deny real facts, you’re denying the truth, living in ignorance and making life harder than it ever has to be.

I bring this idea of truth and facts up after watching a video ad created by the New York Times. Check out the 30 second clip:

I don’t care if you’re not a fan of the New York Times, I don’t care if you’re on the left or right of the political spectrum.

What I do care about, is that you focus on the message of this clip more than the sponsor of it.

Before you hit play, the words “The truth is hard” sits in front of you.

I don’t know about you, but that seems a little crazy. Why should facts be hard? Why should finding common ground be hard? Why should honesty be hard?

I’ll tell you why: It’s because we live in a world where people see a message like this and instead of trying to solve a problem, they criticize the organization that is trying to answer these questions.

Need an example? Here’s one from our country’s leader:

While I didn’t vote for Donald Trump, I genuinely hope that he succeeds in leading this country into prosperity.

I didn’t sit in bed after election day and cry.

I didn’t loathe every person who celebrated the president’s victory.

I didn’t attack reality.

I didn’t do any of these things because while I wasn’t a fan of the election outcome, it’s what we got. It’s what America got.

For those who did, it’s okay, I understand…but it’s time to face reality.

Instead of being sad or angry, take that emotion and turn it to action. What can you do — what message can you send– to get your point across? I’m not saying it will be easy, but you can do it.

Instead of focusing on my disappointment, I started thinking about possibilities and the future, because the truth was that Donald J. Trump was selected to be the president of the United States.

The thing about the tweet above though, that I do take issue with, is the following:

  1. The thing that is focused on is the organization promoting the ad instead of the message
  2. A leader that claims he will steer this country straight tries to win battles  by attacking organizations that try to find facts and keeps them out of the loop instead of researching facts for himself and using them to form truthful statements.
  3. A man who millions of people look to for answers can’t give truthful ones himself.

If you lean left or you lean right, you can’t argue with numbers. They are what they are. And in the New York Times’ case, they’re not failing.

Mark Thompson, CEO of the Times, told Politico that the organization experienced a net increase of 276,000 digital subscribers in the fourth quarter.

“For comparison, that’s more net new subscriptions in one quarter than we added in the whole of 2013 and 2014 combined,” he said.

You can’t argue with numbers. So for our president to claim that the Times is failing and then be proven wrong by real facts (because alternative facts are literally not a real thing) is just incredibly ironic.

It’s no secret that the Times leans left. But it’s also no secret that Fox News leans right.

As someone who is supposed to listen to everyone in the country, not just those that support you, I challenge President Donald J. Trump and his administration to stop limiting media outlets.

I challenge them to stop tweeting lies, or alternative facts, if that’s the vernacular you choose to use.

To stop shutting down questions from organizations with political ideals that don’t align with theirs.

Instead, take the questions and concerns they have, and challenge those with differing opinions to understand a difference in opinion. To hear a different voice and to figure out a way to connect with more people and build their trust.

I want to be able to trust the President. I want to be able to be confident in his ability to lead this country to success. But I’m not there right now, and I can’t get there if he keeps fighting every person who has a different opinion than him instead of learning where they’re coming from and figuring out a solution.

I don’t want to fight the president. I don’t want to hate him. I want him to understand where I’m coming from. I want him to see the facts, accept them and then act on those.

Act on the truth, because it is the only thing that leads us to a common ground.

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