By Gary M. Galles, Foundation for Economic Education
New York Times writer Kevin Roose recently surveyed “our truth-challenged information ecosystem” and found a proliferation of “hoaxes, lies and collective delusions.” As he put it, that limits the Biden administration’s ability to “unite a country,” because “millions of people have chosen to create their own version of reality.” In response, he called for the creation of a “reality czar”-led government task force to root out disinformation.
Roose admits such a call for a “truth commission” sounds “dystopian,” before proceeding to ignore many ways it would be exactly that. For instance, the Times, the Biden campaign, the Democrat leadership, and others on board with the idea have come nowhere close to pursuing “the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.” Yet despite a history of disseminating misinformation, clear biases, and suppression of those with different views, they would select the arbiters of Orwellian truth.
So who could be trusted as the reality czar? No one.
Just ask Democrats why they never suggested having one when Trump was in office. In politics, truth is subservient to power. But since any attempt to provably establish the truth would be littered with obstacles and controversies, and often beyond possibility, while creating a substantial threat to Americans’ freedoms, only someone who was indisputably committed to both truth and freedom could possibly be trusted to lead such an enterprise. And there are precious few who would qualify. If he wasn’t long dead, I would nominate John Milton.
Before America’s founding, he argued for freedoms of speech and the press, and against censorship, in England. His defense of freedom of conscience later powerfully resonated with America’s founders, reflected in our First Amendment. So it is worth considering the principles he would follow to establish truth and preserve freedom, in his own words.
Read more at FEE.