Abraham Lincoln (February 12, 1809 – April 15, 1865)
I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts… No man has a good enough memory to be a successful liar.
Timothy Snyder (August 18, 1969 -)
Americans are no wiser than the Europeans who saw democracy yield to fascism, Nazism, or communism…Our one advantage is that we might learn from their experience… You submit to tyranny when you renounce the difference between what you want to hear and what is actually the case… Accepting Post-truth is pre-fascism, and to abandon facts is to abandon freedom.
Edward R. Murrow (April 25, 1908 – April 27, 1965)
Two of the staples of his diet are the investigation, protected by immunity, and the half-truth.
(Speaking of Senator Joseph McCarthy in 1954 and applying to Donald Trump in 2019)
John Trudell (Feb. 15, 1946 – Dec. 8, 2015)
When one lives in a society where people can no longer rely on institutions to tell them the truth, the truth must come from culture and art.
Henry Louis Mencken (September 12, 1880 – January 29, 1956)
As for me, I am never absolutely certain that I am right, and for the plain reason that I am never absolutely certain that anything is true. It may seem to me to be true but I may be quite unable to imagine any proof of its falsity – but that is simply saying that my imagination is limited, not that the proposition itself is immovably sound. Some other man, better-born than I, or drinking better liquor, may disprove it tomorrow. And if not tomorrow, then the day after tomorrow, or maybe next week or next year. I know of no so-called truth that quite escapes this possibility. Anything is conceivable in a world so irrational as this one.
Albert Einstein (March 14, 1879 – April 18, 1955)
The ideals which have lighted my way, and time after time have given me new courage to face life cheerfully, have been Kindness, Beauty, and Truth. The trite subjects of human efforts, possessions, outward success, luxury have always seemed to me contemptible.
Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (October 15, 1844 – August 25, 1900)
What then is truth? A movable host of metaphors, metonymies, and anthropomorphisms: in short, a sum of human relations which have been poetically and rhetorically intensified, transferred, and embellished, and which, after long usage, seem to a people to be fixed, canonical, and binding. Truths are illusions which we have forgotten are illusions — they are metaphors that have become worn out and have been drained of sensuous force, coins which have lost their embossing and are now considered as metal and no longer as coins.