Truth is essential to democracy


To the Editor:
What’s not to like about a candidate with impressive credentials? So people vote for the candidate because they are impressed by the candidate’s background, educational achievements and success in business. They think, “This is the kind of person I want to represent me in Congress.” What if the candidate’s credentials are lies?

Lies are inimical to a democracy. Enemies of democracy, such as the Russian government, have used Twitter, Facebook, etc. to spread lies. Unfortunately, our own elected politicians tell and spread lies. Fraudulent charges obscure genuine debate, which is essential to a democratic society.

Today, we are faced with many threats to our democratic society both from within and without. This is not new. In 1938, philosopher Yves R. Simon left the Sorbonne in Paris to accept an invitation to lecture at Notre Dame University. This fortunate move saved him from the Nazis. Later he accepted a professorship at the University of Chicago in 1951 where he wrote: “Philosophy of Democratic Government.” Following the teaching of St. Thomas Aquinas, he writes that reality and the truth are essential to preserving a democratic society. What are we to do in order to keep liars out of our government and preserve our democracy?
Deacon Arthur C. Donart, PhD
Thomson, Illinois

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