The Special Counsel has issued indictments against Russians he says were involved in misinformation antics that were intended to influence our elections. I have no doubt that is occurring in even more subtle ways that may or may not be part of what has been exposed in these indictments. Time will tell.
There is a more insidious effort ongoing that we ought to be investigating and for which some penalties ought to be announced on a fairly regular basis. Our major news sources have biases and we are impacted by those biases on an almost daily basis. That may be even more insidious than what these Russians are accused of since we might’ve been suspicious of those plants depending upon where they were found.
We have a daily intake of the media coverage of ‘news’ and we tend to take that information as being factual, nonbiased, and complete. There is a bias to virtually everything we receive from our readings, from television, and from the written word. I am biased but I try to be honest about my biases.
I am a conservative and I am proud of that bias since I believe it to be more the truth than that I am fed from liberals and supposedly middle-of-the-road commentators and publications. I believe that we are better served by what we know to be the biases of those we might place stock in than we are served by those claiming to have no biases.
I am honest in what I portray and I am proud to be able to tell you I am a conservative. You at least know where I claim to be coming from and you can adjust your “believability barometer” accordingly. There may be days when you think I have crept over the line, but you were alert enough to see that and know that it didn’t align with your own biases.
The point is simple: we are all biased; everything we see and hear is biased; if we believe that not to be the case, we have deceived ourselves and are more the fools than those who portrayed themselves as unbiased. Some claim to be unbiased because they really believe that to be the case. Others claim to be unbiased because they just don’t know any better. Still other make those claims to fool us into accepting what they are about to say as fact.
Among the more interesting things in the discussion is this: we find far more conservatives telling us they are conservatives; and, we find very few liberals telling us they are liberals. That should actually tell us almost everything we need to know in these matters. If someone claims to be pure unadulterated middle-of-the-road, watch out. You are being played as the sucker, although you may have yet to determine if from the right or from the left.
I am far more comfortable with the person who is honest about his or her opinions being expressed; they share their biases proudly because those are the basis for their belief system.
I am skeptical of those who tell me they are conservative until they prove to me that is what they are. I am skeptical of those who tell me they are liberal until they prove to me that is what they are. I am HIGHLY skeptical of those claiming to have no bias because that is, in my opinion, an impossibility other than in a newborn infant and I seldom have conversations with them.
Let us get back to Special Counsels for a moment. Do they have biases? Absolutely! Should they issue that warning before they expound on their opinions? Absolutely! By the time we reach the age of twenty-one we have formed or are nearly fully formed in terms of our thinking and the biases we bring to any conversation.
That, frankly, is why I am very concerned with the fact that some, or more than some, of our primary and secondary education, is delivered by those who are more liberal than they are conservative. Their teachings are distorted by their personal beliefs (of which they may not even be aware) and we need to make allowances for that possibility. We who are conservative and who are parents can mitigate that impact if we understand those realities. But I digress.
We are far better off if we are skeptics until the deliverer of information has proved to us what he or she leans toward in terms of his or her basis for beliefs. Am I saying we should abandon all discussion with liberals if we are conservative or vice versa? Absolutely not. But I am saying we ought to be as quick a read of that person and his or her biases as is possible so we know how to take the information we are hearing or reading.
Very little of what we hear or read is truly factual only. Even in courts of law, the judge is careful to admonish those who stray…even though the judge may also be either conservative or liberal and that should help us determine the veracity of his or her opinions compared to what our opinions are. We see this at the level of the U.S. Supreme Court; why would we think it any different at all the levels up to that epitome of courts?
Conservatives cheer for the appointment of more conservative justices just as the liberals cheer for more liberal justices. Bias is a simple reality, and it exists to one degree or another in everyone we encounter…and until we’ve formed an opinion as to which way the person leans it is not possible to accept anything as non-biased. We can only try to assess degrees of biases and the leanings of those with the biases we’ve identified.
It is much safer for us to be a bit skeptical in our relationships until we’ve been able to reach the point of a more informed, more accurate opinion.