The truth

There are still three months to go, but if there is a word of the year 2018, it has to be “truth.”
From a president who clearly has no respect for it, to a Senate hearing yesterday where two people have totally opposite perceptions of it, the truth has been front and center practically every single day.
So has the notion that often the truth is different things to different people.
A headline on the front page of today’s Citizens Voice serves as a perfect example: “Ford 100 percent certain she was assaulted by high court nominee; Kavanaugh 100 percent certain he didn’t do it.”
This brings to mind something I wrote in a blog two years ago. Editor Terry McDonell, in his book “The Accidental Life,” says author Ken Kesey (“One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”) liked to say some things were “true even if they never really happened.”
It sounds preposterous, I know. Except when you listen to the President. In his world, indeed some things are true even if they never really happened. And some things are not true, even if they did.
All of this talk about the “truth” also brings to mind a passage by H.L. Mencken, one-time Baltimore Sun columnist who died in 1956:
The man who boasts that he habitually tells the truth is simply a man with no respect for it. It is not a thing to be thrown about loosely, like small change; it is something to be cherished and hoarded and disbursed only when absolutely necessary. The smallest atom of truth represents some man’s bitter toil and agony; for every ponderable chunk of it there is a brave truth-seeker’s grave upon some lonely ash-dump and a soul roasting in Hell.
I cannot say with confidence I understand precisely what this means.
But it does tell me one thing. The truth deserves better treatment than it’s been getting.

Ed Ackerman