As we proceed into the fall elections, I have suggestion for those seeking national, state or local elective office and many, if not most pundits. Please refrain from using the following phrases:

"Here's the reality..." "The bottom line is..." "The facts are..." "Everyone knows..." "Statistics show..." "Polls indicate..."

"Mainstream Americans believe..." "What we know for sure..." "Experts agree..."

As the American public has devolved into extreme partisanship in the last decades, many of us have grown weary of such assertions. The main reason I suggest the abandonment of these phrases is not only do many of these claimants not posses the legitimate right to make these claims, but they are usually self-aware that if pressed, they can rarely back their assertions up with actual proof. Anyone with internet access and the time and determination to look can counter almost any soundbite claim made. Most issues contain far too many variables for anyone to make such definitive statements. Some call this lying by omission or spinning. At best, it's mildly deceptive and is employed by all sides.

We should also be wary of the designation of the term expert. To quote the late actor Peter Ustinov: "If the world should ever blow itself up, the last audible voice would be that of an expert saying it can't be done."

Robert Heller

Mankato

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