What is real and what isn’t?

Dear Editor,

America has an integrity problem -- a big problem.

A small example is the recent Montana congressional election. When candidate Greg Gianforte assaulted a reporter from “The Guardian,” the quick response by the Gianforte group was that the reporter started the assault and Gianforte was simply defending himself. The response was a lie, which was later confirmed by an eyewitness from Fox News. 

However, when I watched a news program the day of the election, a voter interviewed was asked if the incident influenced his vote. He said no, there was more than one version of what happened. It seemed the lie had become the truth, at least for him.

In Washington the amount of misinformation or lies by the current administration is something I have not witnessed in my lifetime. The truth is often branded as “fake news,” which makes a lie appear to be the real truth. The continued use of the tactic destroys the electorate’s ability to agree on what is real and what is a lie. How can Americans agree or disagree on issues when we have two different versions of the truth?

Essentially, the lack of integrity by our political leaders and the current administration’s assault on the press is a genuine threat to our Democracy. It is not guns that will keep America free, but the press and its ability to report the facts, and a citizenry that will not tolerate the proliferation of lies.

Ron Balas

Lewistown

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