On March 23, 1872, the concept of believe nothing that you hear and only half of what you see was published by The Raleigh Daily News. This statement is also associated with an 18th century statement English publication. This concept has also been associated with Edgar Allen Poe. This idea is now at the forefront of our political realities. With the onset of “fake news” and the obvious attack on our nation’s political system the idea that you believe nothing that you hear and only half of what you see takes on a more important objective. It also takes on a responsibility.
I’ve been writing most of my life that now encompasses almost 7 decades. Every time I express political views I’ve been called things I don’t understand. In fact, I don’t even know what their definitions are. I sincerely don’t care what anyone’s political views are. It is not up to me to judge and I believe any judgment is up to how one feels about themselves the future of their families.
To clarify I don’t care if your views are far right, right, center right, center, center left, left, or far left. I do defend your and anyone else’s right to express what you believe. As I’ve told decades of my students please believe nothing you hear or read and only half of what you see. Question everything and everyone including me. If I tell you about a specific scientific concept and you don’t believe or understand what I’m telling you check me out. Then come back to me and discuss why you believe what I taught you was right or wrong. For years, I’ve told all my students I learn more from them then they learn from me.
For example, if you read that Mr. Trump is cutting off the heads of children in order to drink their blood don’t believe it. If you read or were told the Democrats have some sort of an industry that sells children in the black market through a pizza place, do not believe it. We can stop this farce simply by checking out what is being told us.
Social media has taken over the task of reporting what is going on in the world from ‘normal’ media outlets. This is a fact. I implore my students and my fellow citizens to question all and everything they read or even see on this media outlet. We all have the power to do this. If a non-person authors an article or video don’t believe it or at least question its authenticity. If the piece you are reading is bi-lined by a group, don’t believe it. If the piece you are reading is bi-lined by a person check this person out.
I write many political articles. In the past, I’ve written more about life in Maine. Family was more important than politics but with the reality of our lives and the reality of looking into the future through our children and grandchildren a concentration of the older generation into the future of the new generation is significant. More significant is having our newest generation understand the importance of truth.
As an old retired teacher, I have a suggestion. All political essays and videos should be bi-lined by not only the person’s name but should also contain their e-mail address. This would make it easier for the reader to check out if this individual actually exists and is not a ‘bot’ or ‘troll’. As I understand a ‘bot’ is a computer-generated editorial produced by a group of people trying to undermine our democracy. A ‘troll’ is a person or group on the Internet who sows discord by starting quarrels or upsetting people, by posting inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community (such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) with the intent of provoking emotions and untruths.
As I’ve expressed to my students for my entire career please question everything. We can defeat this or any attack by foreign and domestic players by simply questioning and thus proving if they are true to what they say or are just tools for people who are trying to destroy our democracy and thus our way of life.
Jim Fabiano is a teacher and writer living in York, Maine
You can contact Jim at: firstname.lastname@example.org