We have all heard of the satirical fairy tale of the emperor who paraded before his subjects without any clothes; however, no one was brave enough to acknowledge the obvious and everyone was cowered into pretending that the emperor was decked out in his most regal attire.  Of course, this tale was told to expose the very human frailty of being easily intimidated into ignoring the truth so as not to incur the wrath of those in power.

Could this sort of mass disregard for the truth still happen in our presumably enlightened and free society?   Yes, most assuredly so.   It happens whenever the shrill voice of powerful political and social activists, media hounds, and demagogues who pontificate and incite protests about their latest cause or injustice while they pretend to cloak themselves with the truth and righteous indignation causes people to accept their false pretenses and abandon any real search for the truth.   Granted, it is no longer about the fear of physical harm but it is about the fear of the social and economic reprisals that can be inflicted upon you if you speak up and do not, at least, appear to go along with their program.

You know as well as I do that whenever an incident occurs that fits their agenda, the same worn and tiresome ministers of strife, conflict and power along with their minions come out in force to dictate the social discourse and to create a whirlwind of hysteria over whatever injustice they can conjure up with their invective rhetoric, usually, without any concern over the truth of the matter.  Their self-serving and misleading interpretation of events becomes everyone else’s reality.  They are the emperor and we are the cowering subjects in these real life fairy tales.

I am both astonished and frustrated by how easily people are either whipped into a frenzy of outrage or subdued into submissive acquiescence by these adept but deceptive purveyors of discord and discontent over any event that they choose to latch onto as their latest cause.   Looking for the truth becomes an inconvenient but readily dismissed obstacle that is lost in the sideshows created by these professional rabble rousers.

In reality, any legitimate cause and every real injustice is best served by first seeking out the truth and then forming our own considered opinions so that we can address the issue with reason and not by bowing to the influence and pressure of others to abandon any search for the truth.  If the emperor has no clothes, don’t be afraid to say so.

On Monday, Joe questions and comments on the notion of animal rights in “Do Animals Have Rights?”.