Score one for the little guy. Purdue Pharma is finally paying. For the blood money it’s earned. For the lives it’s claimed. For the Sackler family shareholders, both active and passive. The bystanders finally got their takedown.
As NYT journalist Farhad Manjoo recently wrote, ‘I’m scared for us,” because we live in a world where conspiracy theories abound. More Americans seem to live in their social media made echo chambers of alternate reality than ever before. Media’s addiction to outrage and indignation is amplifying fringe voices onto the mainstage, drowning out the fact-based realists.
Companies like Purdue Pharma, Exxon and Purdue Farms (unrelated to Purdue Pharma) have spent decades and hundreds of millions of dollars creating alternate realities even though it would have been so much simpler just to do the right thing. Politicians, influencers and conspiracy theorists have used these alternate facts to line their own pockets. Remember when we thought America’s institutions were so strong as to be un-corruptible?
As former Marine and writer, Elliott Ackerman said to me this week, “There is only 1 truth and this must be an objective truth.” There is no such thing as your truth or my truth. He added, “truth is what unifies us.”
Truth unifies us. Facts unify us. We all need to becoming upstanders for the truth. It’s incumbent upon each of us to be upstanders. How do you do it?
Propagate facts, not opinions
Use email, social media, any communication tools you use, to promote facts
Drown out and/or discredit the conspiracy theories
Proselytize the truth, especially to the bystanders and conspiracy theory believers
Yes we can
Yes, it takes courage to be an upstander, but hardly requires an extraordinary amount of it.
It’s the least we can do to defend our beliefs, values, families and our liberal democracy.
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