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“Truth Isn't Truth” Isn't “Truth Isn't Truth”

by Dr David, Editor / Publisher

I've lived here in San Miguel de Allende seven years this November. When people ask me if I ever go back to visit the States I reply, “I go to visit my daughter in New Orleans. That's not really the United States. It's kind of French.”

I don't follow US politics very much. A couple of years ago, at The Chapel of Jimmy Ray, Anado loaned the mic to a young, impassioned woman, who was visiting from up north. She went on at length, exhorting us to resist whatever was the outrage of that moment. I called out, “We're in Mexico.”

Many political youth movements remind me of the barn in rural Connecticut where I would go to pick up my organic veggies during the summer. The farmer, who had a lot of young interns helping him, had painted a colorful mural on the side of the barn, featuring these words, “Hire a teenager now, while they still know everything.”


I like words, the power and elegance of language. That's what hooked me into the latest (at the time I write this) political flap. Last Sunday on Meet the Press, Trump's lawyer, Rudy Giuliani talking about the danger of a perjury charge and why Trump would not testify, said:

Giuliani- “...because it’s somebody’s version of the truth. Not the truth.”
The host- “Truth is truth.”
Giuliani- “No, it isn’t truth. Truth isn’t truth.”

As the host predicted, “Truth isn't truth” has become a bad meme. In my very superficial review, made in researching this article, everyone is talking about it. But let's give the mayor his due. First delete the host's interjection and Giuliani's initial response to it:

Giuliani- “...because it’s somebody’s version of the truth. Not the truth.... Truth isn’t truth.”

Now write the offending sentence correctly, including the grammatically necessary quotation marks. We need those quotation marks around that one iteration of the word “truth.” They make all the difference:

Giuliani- “...because it’s somebody’s version of the truth. Not the truth.... 'Truth' isn’t truth.”

Giuliani might have spoken that particular “truth” with more emphasis, to make it clear that by it he means something different than its repetition two words later: “'Truth' isn't truth.“ Lacking that emphasis it does sound Orwellian. But it is obvious from his sentence before the host's interjection that Giuliani is stating his belief that, “Some people's version of the truth isn't really the truth,” (emphasis mine).

The host laughs at Giuliani's “bad meme.” Embarrassed, Giuliani takes 30 seconds to explain what he meant. The host accepts that explanation, telling Giuliani two times, “You're right.”

Fake News

If someone in San Miguel tells you they are going to “Mexico,” they mean Mexico City. In my nativity, not far outside the Big Apple, when someone says that they are going to “the City,” they mean NYC. Please let me be abundantly clear; I liked New York a lot better before Giuliani. I'm no fan of Trump, either.

But leaving out the quotation marks constitutes a clear misrepresentation. (Pardon my oxymoron.) “'Truth' isn't truth” isn't Orwellian. The Orwellians are those who leave out the quotation marks, making language, one sentence here, mean something different than what was meant. Those in the media, who leave off the quotation marks are not telling the truth. Giuliani looks foolish enough without anyone's fake news.


One evening back in the Reagan era we were watching a piece on the President visiting a grammar school on the CBS News with Walter Cronkite. The kids were being prepped for his visit. They were not going to talk to the President, but the teacher prodded them, “If you could tell President Reagan just one thing, what would it be?” Sitting aside me, my father, without missing a beat, responded, “Slit your throat.”

If I could give President Trump one piece of advice, it would be, "Be gracious when you win... and you've won... so far. Don't gloat over Arnold not getting the ratings you did when he took over The Apprentice. Give him a break. You're the f**king President of the United States, Sir."

If I could give hyper-politicized youth some advice, it would be to suspect hatred, especially when it is your own, remembering Leonard Cohen's dictum, “Love's the only engine of survival” and to read “The Tale of Two Cities,” keeping in mind that bit of political wisdom (pardon, again, my oxymoron) from The Who, “Meet the new boss; same as the old boss.”

If I could give Giuliani some advice, it would be, retire.


photo: Alessandro Bo (cropped)

Dr David started this magazine because he could write and liked to communicate. He fully expected that in a town like San Miguel he could find authors to publish in addition to himself. Well, practically no one is submitting anything. Stubborn as he is, he continues, now publishing himself, and a faithful cadre of authors and photographers. His motto continues to be, "It's hard to be ahead of your time."

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