Bob Davis and Gary Fields, Wall Street Journal, September 20, 2016
Reviewed by Caitlin Williams, API Policy Fellow
I recently finished reading How Do You Kill 11 Million People? Why the Truth Matters More Than You Think by Andy Andrews. The book is a quick, yet profound, read about the importance of the people holding their politicians and leaders accountable. Andrews’s main premise is that citizens need to ensure they are receiving the truth from their politicians. He implores his readers to become informed citizens, who pay attention, and who are engaged enough to hold every politician to a standard of truth–exactly what we hope to foster through our work at API.
Andrews shows the devastation that a lack of accountability and fact-checking by citizens can bring, using the example of Adolf Hitler, who said: “How fortunate for leaders that men do not think. Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventually they will believe.”
Andrews warns that complacency has taken root in America and that it will ultimately lead to dependency, as politicians are permitted to lie to us “for our own good.” We, as a nation, have become prone to believe anything a politician, with whom we agree, says. We have forgotten how to seek the truth for ourselves.
So, which candidates can we support at a time when honesty in politics is nearly nonexistent? Andrews opines:
Abraham Lincoln, but he won’t run again. Beyond that, I am searching for that one special leader who can look us in the eye while telling us the painful truth in such a way that still manages to resonate with voters. That’s a tough order, I know, but it can be done. Especially if smart people will get involved in the election process and actually vote.
During a year full of chaos in both state and national politics, this book reignited my passion to help deliver the truth to the people. It also reaffirmed, for me, the critical importance of API’s work.
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