Appearance of truth? You got it. Truth? Not really.

Before reading MO’s email, I read Diane Ravitch’s blog about the President’s State of the Union address.

She argued that the president’s description of his education agenda was not true. She challenged his statements about Race to the Top, the condition of public education, and the potential for improving it by following his leadership. Like the email I received from the First Lady, his statements had the appearance of truth; but they were not true.

Appearance of truth is everywhere. My inbox says Michelle Obama sent a personal email. The President says we should follow his policies to become a more educated people. Neither is true.

Diane should understand what I do about political speeches and emails from the First Lady.  The staffs of politicians and the First Lady think we don’t know the difference between the appearance of truth and truth. Are we Americans that uneducated? Are we completely unable to think for ourselves? Oh yes, I forgot–we are. I explained why in TSVOTEP.

Politicians give us the appearance of truth because we are too uneducated to demand the truth. Is it coincidence or is it cause-effect that politicians govern education and benefit from schools that teach citizens to be unimaginative, afraid of truth, and proud?

Here is how syndicated columnist Kathleen Parker described Americans’ lack of imagination, fear of truth and pride, in her column about Obama’s wrong answer on American exceptionalism (Asheville Citizen-Times, February 2, 2011, p, A11):

Exceptionalism became radioactive a couple of years ago when Obama was asked at an overseas news conference whether he subscribes to “the school of American exceptionalism that sees America as uniquely qualified to lead the world.”
His answer has haunted him ever since:
“I believe in American exceptionalism, just as I suspect that the Brits believe in British exceptionalism, and the Greeks believe in Greek exceptionalism.”
I remember thinking at the time, BZZZZT. Wrong Harvard. That is not the correct answer.

Parker’s point is that this was not the correct political answer because it does not give enough appearance of believing in American exceptionalism. The President’s comments were true, of course, but he spoke a truth that frightens Americans and offends our pride (not hard to do). Parker scoffed at the President’s answer because he displayed imagination, courage and humility. Evidently she prefers politicians who are unimaginative, fearful of truth and proud. Doesn’t she get enough of that already? I do.

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