Communication online is more democratic than ever. Information used to pass through rounds of fact checks and gatekeepers, helping us maintain pro-truth news. Now every voice is given near-equal footing on websites like Facebook and Twitter. We can take advantage of our right to free expression now more than ever, but this right comes with responsibilities. Otherwise, we can lose sight of truth and lose faith in each other.
Before I became a candidate I signed the Rational Politics Project’s Pro-Truth Pledge, where I promised to “Verify, Balance, Cite, and Clarify” what I say. This moves beyond a definition where the truth is not a lie. Truth goes beyond, to avoid confusing others. Not adding to the noise is central to ensuring that I’m a voice Mesa can trust to represent them in the state legislature.
Part of that is recognizing that my job isn’t siding with a political party. When people across the aisle say something that’s pro-truth, that’s honorable, I still make certain to honor their work. I praised Senator Flake earlier this year when he called for an end to Islamophobic attacks on another candidate and his opponent, Deedra Aboud. That kind of valor deserves recognition, even if I don’t agree with the senator on every issue.
Thanks for speaking up Senator @JeffFlake
— Johnny Martin (@johnnymartin4az) 19 de julio de 2017
Working as an interfaith leader with ASU, I’ve seen firsthand the division that failing to recognize each other as people causes. To bring us together, we need to have an equal footing in the truth. Even more importantly, we need to recognize when the other side is right and acknowledge our failures.
Truth is more important than any one candidate or idea. That means taking space to recognize failure and standing down when one is wrong. When I share my story, I’m not afraid of facing my errors or discussing how I’ve learned from them. By being truthful, I believe it’s possible to use mistakes to find solutions. That’s what we need to do if we want to come together. Trust requires us to be truthful and open.
#TogetherWeCan build trust through truth.