Did you know we have the most robust, growing economy since before President Clinton’s time in office? You wouldn’t know it from listening to or by reading the doom and gloom statistics and forecasts as reported by many in the national media. Over and over the stories, often with lots of added statistics, put a negative spin on even the most positive of news.
Most Iraqis do not see us as occupiers. Most soldiers are good, honorable decent men and women who do more than kill those who wish to undermine the new government. Many in the military have helped pave the way for businesses to open, utilities to be connected, and have helped children return to school? Somehow these positive aspects of the war in Iraq don’t make the statistic charts.
Did you know while the liberals–of both parties–are too cowardly to defund the war per se (while passing meaningless resolutions and pull-out dates that only encourage the enemy), they are discussing a slow bleed plan? While they tell the media they support the troops, they are planning to destroy the mission by defunding needed ammunition, weapons, body armor and replacement troops, leaving our troops totally unprotected and exhausted. As deaths rise, these so-called patriots plan to declare the effort a failure and make a case for America to desert a fledgling democracy. These elected officials claim they are merely following the will of the people, a will they’ve discerned from the elections and polling statistics. (Of course, polls can be twisted to show about anything depending on how the person polled is “prepped” through judicious censoring of background information and how a question is worded. If the polls are doctored, resulting statistics are meaningless, reflecting the pollster’s agenda rather than the mind or will of those polled.) So much for the statistics.
There is an old adage that goes something like this: if people are lied to often enough, consistently enough, they will begin to believe the lies. It happened in Germany before WWII and ended up with significant loss of life. We call victory in that war our greatest triumph and yet had we made the same cry over body count we do today in Iraq (backed up, of course, by dubious statistics), we would now be flying the swastika. Furthermore, the war statistics are seldom put in context. Our soldiers may be safer in Iraq than in many American cities where the murder rate is much higher each day than it is for our soldiers overseas. Why aren’t the statistics put in proper context?
Many believed falsehoods about the administration, the economy and the war and it changed their vote, in many cases, to the very ones disseminating the falsehoods. Out of context statistics played a part in this situation
What we lack in our representatives and in media coverage is context. A statistic is reported, but often not put in a meaningful context that would help us make sense of the statistical and other information.
We hear all about Global Warming and see all sorts of statistics, but we don’t hear about the credible scientists who don’t buy into the belief that it is all about how humans are destroying the planet. We don’t see those statistics or statistics regarding the credibility of sources. We’re told we must sign the Kyoto Treaty without the context that it will hurt only the US, while exempting many other countries from restricting their emissions of carbon dioxide and five other greenhouse gases.
We’re often given economic news without the context of the same news during other administrations. Good news is often given a negative spin, followed by a negative reading of statistics.
It is very difficult to make solid decisions if we base our decisions on news, numbers and statistics given without the proper context, history and from government officials who convey only what they think we want to hear.
Democracy demands an intelligent and diligent citizenry. It is up to us to dig deeper, search beyond the headlines to find the whole story, discover meaningful statistics as well as the context for allegations made to find what many try to claim no longer exists–truth.