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The Truth Will Set You Free

Freedom isn’t free, and our fight for the truth has been hindered by our inability to think for ourselves. Those in power limit our ability to speak freely because freedom of speech threatens those in power.

Why are so many of us afraid of the truth? I know my problem was I was afraid to be wrong. During college and my MPA program, I strongly advocated for Democrat candidates and socialist policies, because my truth made me believe that government was the only solution to all of the world’s problems. It was easy to believe my truth because I was constantly having my political ideology validated by the people around me. How could I be so wrong?

Even as a Democrat, I have always been an active proponent of the principles of free speech, as I understand that a truly free market for ideas is necessary for a functioning Republic. I often became friends with people I disagreed with because I was always interested in learning why others believe what they do.

This doesn’t mean I always actively listened. I listened just enough to find the part that I disagreed with. Believing that I couldn’t be wrong, I was constantly doubling down on the same reckless spending programs that I oppose today. Even when the opposition made more sense, it felt as though my entire identity was being threatened.

During the spring of 2018, I realized I had developed quite a drinking problem, and I removed alcohol from my diet entirely. When you quit drinking and want to stay sober, you often cut people out of your life that you associate as drinking buddies. This was the majority of my friend group at the time. Within two months, I no longer had a group of people validating my beliefs.

I refused to give up my loyalty to the Democrat party. My family voted Democrat, and I have voted Democrat in every election starting in 2010. However, I started to question the policies and social movements I was advocating for. Is preserving a women’s perceived choice to abort an unborn baby really more important than protecting potential human life? Is an institution of self-interested people elected through a popularity contest really the answer to all of the world’s problems, or could a free market sort out these issues without spending a cent of the taxpayer’s money?

I was awake for the first time. I immediately denounced my loyalty to the Democrat party but refused to get in bed with any political party too soon. I did my research. I read the opposition’s arguments and I compared them to my own values. I went back and forth until I finally concluded that socialism is evil because it is a form of theft that forces people to work to pay for other people’s downfalls.

Without the ability to question my own beliefs, I would have never been able to open my mind to different possibilities. Before, I was afraid to be wrong. Now, I understand that it’s okay to be wrong because that’s how we learn. We grow from our mistakes and adjust our beliefs accordingly.

Younger Americans don’t seem to have this option. They’re boxed in and immediately demonized if they draw outside the lines. The revolution of social media has made it impossible for free-thinkers to fully function while making it much easier to just sit back and agree with the dictated script.

We must be able to question the national narrative. Even if a majority of Americans think something’s right, we need to what the opposition has to say. It is completely possible for a million people to be wrong while only one person has been right all along, and I fear that we are sacrificing the truth for people’s feelings.

We cannot afford to sacrifice the truth. The continued lies propagated by the mainstream news media have created an economy that is destroying the hard-working middle class and a culture where it’s taboo to demand better.

As humans, we all have a lot left to learn, but social media forces us to feel like we must be experts on every subject at any given time. We no longer turn to the facts, but rather to what the most popular person in the mainstream is saying about the topic. We’re not afraid of the truth. We’re incapable of arriving at the truth because we’re too stubborn to admit we might be wrong.

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- Chadwick Paul

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