Letter: Don’t let anyone steal your reality

Published 8:30 pm Tuesday, August 3, 2021

“I hate a liar more than I hate a thief. A thief is only after my salary, a liar is after my reality.” So says rapper 50 Cent, and while I don’t usually quote rappers, and I don’t hate anyone, he captures an essential truth.

To illustrate, let’s look at examples of people trying to steal our reality.

Reality: Joe Biden won the last election by more than 7 million votes (or 4.5 percentage points). Yet some Republican supporters of the former president would have you believe that the election was stolen from him. You can look it up. Biden won. Don’t let them steal your reality.

Reality: On Jan. 6, supporters of former President Trump stormed the Capitol in Washington D.C. The mob beat the police officers (who were defending the Capitol and Congress) with bats, flags and Trump signs. They breached the Capitol, chanted “Hang Mike Pence,” and tried to stop the certification of the results of the election. Their leader, Mr. Trump, told them to. The mob that injured police officers and damaged the Capitol was made up of Trump supporters — not antifa, Black Lives Matter supporters or anyone else. You saw it happen in real time or have seen the videos. You heard the four police officers testify. Don’t let them steal your reality.

Reality: Our climate is warming rapidly with June the hottest on record. We hear unprecedented air quality alerts, drought alerts, forest fire alerts, heat alerts, flood alerts, mud slide alerts, ash borer alerts — all a result of global warming caused by us humans. You know this is true if you have left your house in the last two months. Yet Congressman Hagedorn, a climate change denier, votes against planet-saving bills. The Republican Minnesota Senate stopped energy renewal bills and fought “Clean Car” legislation (which seeks to limit tail pipe emissions and incentivize the sale of electric cars). The Republican Party denies the reality of climate change.  Don’t let them steal your reality.

Reality: COVID-19 has killed 610,000 Americans. People who follow guidelines, wear masks and get vaccinated will likely not contract or die from COVID. Yet, Republicans have downplayed the virus, held events with no masking and sometimes dissuaded folks from getting the vaccine. Republican leaders from Congressman Hagedorn to President Trump have misled and outright lied to the American people about masking, treatments and vaccinations. According to the CDC tracker, the highest number of cases and severe outcomes now occur in areas with low vaccination rates. Even Alabama Governor Kay Ivey (R) is now telling the residents of her state to get the shot because “the vaccine is saving lives.”  Don’t let anyone steal your reality. 

I believe it is necessary to seek the truth, take action based on facts and work to make the world a safer, better place. Anyone who lies to steal your reality on the major issues of the day is not fit to govern.

Mary Hinnenkamp

Albert Lea