Mistakes were made, as they say. When newspapers make them (as we did last week, including getting the sponsor of the annual Martin Luther King Day breakfast wrong), we print corrections. You’ll find them this week on page 11.
We think facts are important, and we try hard to get them right.
Last week in Washington, we saw the result of a political movement in which rumor trumps facts, ideology trumps argument, and lies trump decency and reason. Many evils laid the foundation for the assault on the Capitol last Wednesday, chief among them bigotry, greed, and lust for power. The rioters passionately believed the lies about a stolen election, repeated so many times on Twitter, Facebook, and Fox News that they “must be true.” Meanwhile, the corporate executives and board members, who suddenly know better, raked in billions by spreading those lies.
“Murder the media” was inscribed on the door of the Capitol through which the rioters were politely ushered out after trashing the seat of our government — a clear statement of fascist principle worthy of Goebbels, Stalin, Pinochet, or Bolsonaro. Dictators have long known that a free press is their greatest enemy.
We will feel the fallout of last week’s events for a long time, even here in this quiet corner of the body politic. How do we respond to the knowledge that some residents of the Outer Cape actually went to Washington last week to join Trump’s mob? The process of reconciliation must begin with truth, that is, an honest admission that mistakes were made. Corrections must follow.
For those whose mistakes are criminal, there are correctional institutions.
Can we reconcile ourselves to the fact that 2,144 citizens of Eastham, Wellfleet, Truro, and Provincetown voted for Trump on Nov. 3? I think we must. Four of the Independent’s reporters called up 700 Republican voters in the early fall to try and start a conversation. Only 44 of them would talk to us, and many of those railed against the “deep state,” called Joe Biden a pedophile, and said our racism problem was the fault of the Obamas.
Still, I see reasons for hope. The Truro Select Board struck a blow for truth by censuring Peter Herridge, an elected planning board member, for making false, threatening, and abusive statements. Mr. Herridge has said he won’t run again, but he still hasn’t admitted any wrongdoing.
The “Docs for Truro Safe Water,” waging a campaign against a critically important affordable housing initiative, were exposed as frauds by our reporter Paul Benson, but continue to promote lies about contaminated water, as the housing opponents line up their lawyers.
Will the Docs admit their mistakes and issue a correction?