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Facts

October 8, 2019

I’ve been commenting on political posts again. 

 

I hadn’t done it in a while. During the summer I was all about that life. School was out so I had nothing but time. If something idiotic came across my time line I would sit back and fact check the hell out of it. But then Jaimie reminded me that I was supposed to be practicing self care and these political arguments were making me blind with rage. That and school started back, and I figured I had better things to do other than sit around and de-bunk memes. 

 

But then last night happened. 

 

I called Jaimie around 7pm and asked her what she wanted me to make her for dinner. “The kitchen is clean so I don’t want you to cook,” she said. 

 

“Isn’t that the perfect time to cook,” I asked my fiancee. 

 

“No because you’ll ruin it,” Jaimie responded.  

 

I tried to think of a comeback, but she was probably right. So I ordered us food. As I was sitting there waiting for it to be ready, I starting scrolling through my social media feed. After a few minutes I came across a meme that I found troubling. It was troubling because it wasn’t true. It was some made up thing about something President Obama had apparently done, something that was disproved by the simplest of google searches.

 

I posted an article fact checking the claim. 

 

This lead to me being called an idiot because, you know, I referenced journalists and newspapers. I responded by saying that I don’t argue with people who don’t believe in facts and wished them a blessed day.  

_______

 

It seems like facts are so often ignored today in favor of conspiracy and innuendo. People believe that scientists are lying and making up global warming. That truth is subjective. That the president didn’t ask a foreign country for political dirt even though we read there in black and white. It stands in such start contrast to the medical world in which I inhabit. 

 

There truth is all that matters. Scans. Numbers. Symptoms. Measurements. The search for truth is relentless, ruthless, endless. Or at least as close to the truth as we can get. 

 

And then there is an equally ruthless, relentless, endless search for a solution. We search for the truth because our lives depend on it. 

 

But in our politics truth is manipulated, distorted, ignored, all for power. Lives still hang in the balance but they are blurred by numbers and percentiles. Facts are a problem to be kicked down the road for another day. Truth is for another generation to deal with. 

 

__________

 

So I made a comment on the person’s post. And this morning I got into it with someone else, someone I’ve never met, someone who lives half a country away. 

 

And I feel like I always do afterwards. Like I’ve had a cheap one night stand. Like I’ve spent the afternoon watching porn. Empty. Sad. And scared about the fact that so many people in this world who can look at a perfectly grey sky and tell me that it’s blue. 

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