One of the issues I find most disturbing and scary is the on-going tense relationship between the free press and the new administration. The current administration is not the first to have an issue with press organizations that they feel are not giving them favorable enough coverage. The last administration that I remember had issues with freedom of the press was that of President Nixon. Nixon’s resignation over his illegal behavior, which his administration went to great lengths to hide, formed my view of politics.
Now at 62, I find these same kinds of issues surfacing again. No matter who you think has the real or fake news the Earth Charter encourages transparency in Principle 13: “Strengthen democratic institutions at all levels, and provide transparency and accountability in governance ……” Transparency and fake news cannot exist in the same realm of truth.
My wife and I regularly read the New York Times to help us maintain a more balanced perspective than we would have if we relied on the Indianapolis Star alone. The Sunday February 26 edition of the New York Times ran a one-page ad that read:
The truth is hard
The truth is hidden
The truth must be pursued
The truth is hard to hear
The truth is rarely simple
The truth is not so obvious
The truth is necessary
The truth cannot be glossed over
The truth has no agenda
The truth cannot take sides
The truth is not red or blue
The truth is hard to accept
The truth pulls no punches
The truth is powerful
The truth is under attack
The truth is worth defending
The truth requires taking a stand
The truth is more important now than ever
You may disagree with parts of the above, but if you agree that truth is critical to transparency then give the above a chance to inspire you.
I have vacillated between despair and hope as Executive Orders have been issued that violate several tenants of the Earth Charter. The recognition of the importance of truth inspires me to consider all the aspects of transparency indicated in the above lines. We must insist that both the free press and the Trump administration abide by it.
Please feel free to disagree with anything I write, but do not ignore the need for transparency. If we get to the point where the only truth that is not fake, is that which is issued from on high, we may not be allowed to write Monday Memos.
I will hold tight on to the Earth Charter as long as I am allowed.