The Emperor has no clothes… at the border


Time and time again we see elected government officials at all levels fighting openess in government. Right now at the highest level in our country we have a prohibition from allowing media, thus the public, to see exactly what is going on at our southern border. Fortunately we have an elected U.S. representative willing to release images from off limits places housing those apprehended trying to enter our country illegally. Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas) has provided photos and video of a packed, overcrowded U.S. Customs and Border Protection temporary overflow facility in Donna, Texas. The images show adults, teenagers, and children crowded in makeshift rooms huddling under those ubiquitous silver thermal blankets.

We saw similar images a few years ago during the previous administration. 

The difference is, those images were provided by the media who were allowed, by the Trump administration, access to view, report, and record those pictures for all to see. The Biden administration has disallowed any media access to those overcrowded border facilities. We only know about the situation because a rogue democrat congressperson decided transparency, and his constituency, were more important than towing the party line. He deserves our thanks and respect for his actions.

This is only the most recent example of government efforts to block and control what the public is privy to.  

We are all used to hearing the repeated talking points and the blame game from our elected officials. This latest is far beyond spin and trying to frame the discussion in a way most favorable to an administration and party. More and more we find enforced secrecy, and officials telling their cohorts one thing, and the public something else. Like magicians, they distract you with one hand while the other is doing something totally different. Often we are expected to not believe our own eyes and ears, but to rather believe the interpretation of events as provided by political operatives.

These apparatchiks continually swoop in to explain away what we know to be true with such tortured language and persuasive enthusiasm that if we’re not careful we find ourselves accepting their bilge. Unfortunately many of us do.

Naively, I have for years expected citizens to suddenly realize the gap between truth and fact, and the obfuscation efforts those in the political class use to keep themselves in power.  After all, for many, that is their ultimate goal.

Will we ever reach the point illustrated in the Hans Christian Andersen parable “The emperor has no clothes?”  As in the parable, do we need a child to point out the fallacy a profusion of our leaders and their minions sell to us?

Or are there enough of us who see through the political blandishments to a common set of facts and truths on which we can base good decision making?

Right now, Americans struggle to even agree on the basic facts and truths of compelling civic issues and problems. The willingness to disregard information that does not support your point of view has become pervasive in our society.  At the same time, for many, any event that bolsters their opinion is amplified to the point of crowding out any other course of thought, no matter how logical it may be. 

Some agreement is necessary if we are to effectively deal with and solve these problems.The good news is that, historically, societies have not maintained this high level of  deception for long. The weight of deceit eventually becomes overwhelming and a society turns away from it.  Here’s hoping that happens soon for our country and its future.

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