“ If you’re walking down the right path and you’re willing to keep walking, eventually you’ll make progress.” (Barack Obama)
Jason seemed to be a relatively untroubled Georgia resident who enjoyed his unglamorous daily routine in the quiet suburbs of Atlanta. After all, he took great pride in working hard to support his wife working construction on his day job around town while “winding down” in his home at night to enjoy a few beers, maybe a cigar or two, and a local sports event on TV. Why then would such a sensible man savoring his normal life of simple contentment fall for a robocall, telemarketing ad of such suspicious intent? Yet as Jason listened several times during this call that he should consider purchasing a beachfront bungalow paradise offshore of the Florida Keys, this offer seemed too enticing to pass up for himself and his wife on that otherwise forgettable night. For he envisioned a new “American Dream” then of carefree comfort with his fishing rod in hand along shady palm trees overlooking blissful aqua waters. The reality of course would later surface that no housing actually existed on this swampy atoll infested by hordes of mosquitos, poor mainland access, and little actual solid land.
Facing pressure to commit to this false deal on the phone, Jason never saw the fraud that was coming. For after failing to check out the company’s credentials, ask timely questions, or visit the property itself, he would impulsively commit to a falsified contract during a follow up call that night requiring him to wire over thousands of dollars in deposit to this fake business. It seemed no surprise then that these untruth perpetrators would quickly vanish with his deposit money without later delivery of the property promised to be rendered. Their intent to spread lies in lieu of truth would regrettably go unpunished as Jason came to realize he became a victim of this horrible scam.
On a larger scale, then, the blatant culture of person-to-person dishonesty displayed in the above example suggests that there will likely be many more victims as Jason who will similarly “fall for” similar ploys of false lies and deception. Will slick talking, conspiracy “nuts” again incite riotous mobs to attack our “Nation’s Capital” in violent coup fashion? What if tattoo bands and other body decorations heavily marketed as status symbols to buyers, intensify calls for racist/ xenophobic hysteria? How could divisive calls of false evil about life and death matters also be employed during religious sermons in the name of a “supreme being”? Might a future demagogue’s call to defy existing COVID restrictions as well, only intensify the spread of the pandemic?
Yet there seems to be plenty of optimism in this country now to counteract these ominous forecasts above. For as our newly elected President/ Vice President assume the torch of office in 2021, they promise a new commitment to spread truthful discourse with both friend and foe. Witness then their latest press release and social media postings as a true test of their efforts which must educate the masses to trust integrity rather than “spin” propaganda theories for divisive political gain. In addition, know that as a new generation of children becomes more receptive to such leadership models that respect proof of fact, then they will more likely become better prepared to assume their rights /responsibilities as adults in the future. Witness the influencing potential of the private sector, as well. For in rejection of our past President’s propensity to spread blame filled lies, they must commit to a a new paradigm of moral values where “business as usual” deal-making means fairness in the treatment of others amid open presentation of facts. Clearly, there’s a great deal at stake as we transition into a new era where trust sparks truth. So let us all be “in.”