The hard way or the easy way. The wrong way or the right way. The high road or low road. The safe way or the dangerous way. So many choices, so many decisions. Paper or plastic? Truth or lies? Objectivity or spin? Or, more subtly, truth or just opt out?
When sampling the available sources of information offered to the public via the airwaves and cable today, a thinking person may well be struck by the cowardice so often displayed.
Take health care reform. The basic question is a moral one. Does a civilized society act on a perceived need to pool resources to help provide the basic necessities for the lives of its citizens, or should the misfortunes of the peasant class be not only ignored by their government; but used as a profit center of gargantuan proportions for the benefit of a few?
One could argue that an unfeeling, unresponsive, uncaring government might simply put the sick, lame, aged and infirm on an ice floe and set them adrift. But what would you call a government which not only allows but encourages corporations to generate profit dollars directly from the illness, accident and infirmity of the masses is its citizenry? What do you call a government which advocates and promotes the practice of viewing deadly illness as a bonanza for the bottom line of hundreds of companies and its stockholders? How is it we don't recoil at the very real idea that a child stricken with Cancer in America alone, is setting cash register bells a-ringing and corporate heels-a-clicking all across the Country?
The Straw Man here is Socialism, or worse, Communism. We have a Capitalistic System, but does that require EVERY problem needing dollars show a profit? Is that expected of our police and fire services, our public libraries, our schools?
News and Political Reporting sources do us no favors when they simply ignore the basic question of a life and death issue and insist instead on straying into the weeds of budget, filibuster, House, Senate, Democrat and Republican aspects of the issue. All of these programs have at least one moderator. The role of moderator has been dumbed-down to simply attempting to provide roughly equal speaking time to two opposing views of a problem. No acknowledgement is made to basic truth. One or both sides can and often are completely divorced from any concept of truth or fact. No matter, the moderator accepts all arguments with equanimity. One argues for a flat earth, the other for a round, both get equal air time and the moderator carries out his mission with all the effectiveness and impact of an egg timer. Can't take a principled stand, might be accused of bias. Let lies pile upon falsehoods stacked on mendacious whoppers, no problem! Hire retired Generals with generous financial ties to Defense Contractors to appear and tout the benefits of war. Hire political hacks and shills of all stripes to appear without acknowledging past and current financial and political ties. Let every nut, crazy, kook, criminal, shill and jaggoff spill their bile to the public and treat them with the respect due honored guests in your home. but avoid the real issues and for goodness sakes, avoid a search for truth. If you take a principled stand, you might offend one side or the other; or everybody, for that matter.
Pontius Pilate certainly must be the role model for the modern moderator. He was either so ignorant or indifferent to the truth that he inquired of an accused standing trial before him as to its very nature. The accused, knowing better than to cast pearls before swine, gave no answer. Pilate knew that one decision would stain his hands with innocent blood and the other would cause him political problems at home and possibly even with Rome. Pilate washed his hands of the search for truth and let those with their own agendas have their way.
If you've acquired a taste for pre-digested information and pablum, enjoy, it is everywhere. If you want the truth, and are prepared to handle it; that will require some effort on your part, and you may not like it much when you find it.