Facts are under siege! We have alternative facts offered to either dilute or divert from the truth. We live in a post fact world some are saying. Verbal virtuosity is more important than the accuracy of what you are saying. If you speak with the most confidence, with bigger voices, the more firebrand your language the more you must be speaking truth. The truth is pushed aside because it’s not flamboyant enough or it is too inconvenient for what you want to believe. Truth can be so boring and gets in the way of alternative facts.
At the same time that facts are under attack shame is disappearing. So that when you are caught in a factual error or horrendous act it does not make you feel shame but instead a need to push your way with alternative facts made on the fly. Winning becomes more important than the truth. Not feeling shame more important than relationships.
Shame is thought as a weakness. Shame has gone out of style and been replaced by power, arrogance, and greed. It is a common refrain at political rallies where politicians who have taken shameful actions and positions are shouted down by shouts of Shame! Shame on you! Usually the politician or person has made up his\her mind and will not be moved.
So what is replacing shame? Alternative facts. Alternative facts create a reality where there is no shame to be had. Instead whatever you are doing is not harmful but the act of a hero and should be recognized as such. In times past this was called rationalization; today it is called being rational.
So if fact and shame are being eliminated from public life, what are we to do? My fallback position is only listen to people whose lives reflect integrity, love, and peace. I would not vote against type as evangelicals did when they voted for Trump. Trump is thrice married, has confessed to promiscuous sex and affairs. He has shown he has not a clue about the Bible on several occasions and I could go on with other contradictory lifestyle choices he makes that conflict with evangelicals beliefs. They vote for him because he promises to deliver policies they favor. This is a strategy of ‘By any means necessary’. The same was true of white women who voted for him in a majority.
So if you want me to listen to you show a little love for others, live your values, confess your wrongs, correct your wrongs, be humble, care for others as much as you care for yourself, and above all else do not justify the obviously wrong you do.