Just The Facts…

By John W Greco

Feelings and opinions are different than facts.  We are in the midst of a national crisis where millions of people believe that if they feel something strongly or hold a definite opinion that makes it factual.  Fact:  it does not.  That is simply not true.

Facts are evidence based and verifiable. They are about things that are real.  Feelings and opinions may or may not be based on facts. When they are based on facts, they can be sound and solid and functional.  When they are not based on facts, they can be dysfunctional and even disastrous.

Since the beginning of our Republic, we have had religious people who thought their particular beliefs, i.e., their strong feelings and opinions, were the same as factual reality.  You may know people like this today who think that someone named Jonah actually lived in the belly of a whale because the Bible says so. While such religious opinions are clearly not factual, a significant part of our American population nevertheless continue to insist their particular beliefs should become the law of the land for everyone.

Sadly, this same phenomenon now extends to politics, where the loudest and most emotional among us claim that their strongly held feelings and opinions are factual, even when there is no evidence to support such claims.  Worse, such people persist in their beliefs even when there is evidence that disproves their claims. These are people who want to misuse our government to pass laws based on their opinions and feelings, without bothering to examine the facts.

This is a pervasive problem which is harming America today, and it affects both liberals and conservatives, Republicans and Democrats. Unless we insist that our politics become fact based, we will continue to sow unnecessary discord, and America will continue down the slippery slope of history until we are no longer a respected and powerful nation.