Here in Amerika we have two strong political parties and several week ones. We could have many strong parties or none at all, but we’ve fallen into a convenient binary rut. Amerika’s green and orange parties have had minor disagreements at times, but presently those disagreements are major. At one time those parties shared what were called “facts”, but differed as to opinions. Today, however, the two parties don’t even acknowledge the same "facts".
Facts are meant to correspond to reality to some extent, but since the greens and oranges vehemently disagree on which narratives are factual, at least one of those parties no longer cares if their “facts” correspond to reality. In other words, they lie.
It should be easy to identify which party lies, but it’s not. That’s because various purveyors of “news” have chosen sides. So now it’s hard to tell if the “fake news” side is really the one telling fake news or if the other side is gaslighting us.
How to properly interpret the intent of the Second Amendment has often been discussed, but there’s been no discussion about how to interpret the intent of the First Amendment. If freedom of speech really meant freedom to fib freely this country could not have survived this long. I think the founders intended freedom of speech to be tempered by factuality. Amerikans deplore dictatorships that expurgate truth while promoting lies, but lately they’re willing to allow falsehoods here.
Some Amerikans examine “facts” in light of “evidence” while others would rather go with their guts. Not every gut feeling is a healthy one however; some are composed of hatred, fear, jealousy, and other emotions more personal than true reflections of reality. Knowing this some use rhetoric designed to inflame emotions, instead of factual arguments. We could pass laws compelling people to speak truly when speaking freely, but first we would have to set a standard for what counts as evidence of truthfulness. That standard would have to be tight enough to limit lies while loose enough to allow for opinions. It would be a tricky law to write and enforce while protecting freedom of speech. Such a law won’t be written any time soon because the greens and the oranges have no intention of cooperating.
People are able to cooperate in workplaces and schools, but many politicians now choose money and power over morality. Sadly, if we don’t soon learn to cooperate for the general good, Amerika won’t survive.