Don’t Be Misled by “Half-Truths!”

Things are not always what they seem.

This past Labor Day, brought to mind my friend, Roy, who used to bake pies for a popular cafeteria. Roy had a reputation for making beautiful pies, particularly his lemon meringue pies. He started work before dawn because the pies had to be done before the cafeteria opened.

One day, shortly after opening, his manager approached him with a piece of lemon meringue pie. The pie was the picture of perfection with a beautiful, tall meringue topping perched on top of lemon filling. The manager invited Roy to taste it. He did, and nearly gagged!

Roy hadn’t had much sleep the night before. That morning, when preparing his meringue, he’d grabbed a 20 lb. bag of salt instead of sugar! Of course, the pies were inedible, but even Roy and his manager, had to admit, the pies had the nicest looking meringue they’d ever seen! This reminded me that…

Not everything is as it appears to be!

Marketing and Advertising specialists make a living creating sales pitches and descriptions that influence our behavior toward their products. We learn to rely on their ads. These often serve as short-cuts and assist us in making day to day decisions. But, if someone creates messages to mislead us, or cause us to do something that would normally be against our better judgement, then it’s up to us to question what we’re being sold…before we act.

The art of misleading voters has found a home in today’s political rhetoric in what some call, “Half-Truths!” Experts in “messaging” or “framing,” crafts speeches, position statements, ads, and other forms of propaganda, into slogans and assertions that are false, but that our brains interpret as “possibly true.” These falsehoods are repeated over and over again by the candidates, their supporters and the media. After a while, many well-meaning people begin to accept these lies as true.

Unfortunately, some political “Fact-Checkers” have chosen to label these lies as “Half-Truths” simply because the statements contain an actual fact or two. They are missing the point. “Half-Truths” are nothing more than a lie decorated with an occasional fact to give you and me the false impression that the entire statement is true.

If the statement conveys a message that, when taken as a whole, is contrary to fact(s) contained within it, the statement should be labeled a “lie”, or, at least “misleading!” It should never be linked to the concept of “truth.”

You wouldn’t eat a slice of pie if you knew it’s meringue was made of salt instead of sugar! Don’t be so quick to bite into some of the outlandish political statements you’ll hear on television or from other media sources! You might have to live with the taste for years to come!