By David Seidemann
It began in 1927 with the selection of Charles Lindbergh as Time Magazine’s Man of the Year. Since then, every year the magazine has spotlighted the individual who, for good or for bad, had the most impact on world events. In 1999, the recognition was changed from “man of the year” to “person of the year” to properly include women who have shaped world events. The prize was not limited to mortal man, and in years past, movements, ideas, and even machines have garnered top prize, such as in 1982 when the computer grabbed the award.
Hitler, Stalin, Churchill, and almost every former United States president have been dubbed Man of the Year, with a few persons winning twice. “The Protestor” won in 2011, paying tribute to the multitude of protests, from the tea party to the occupy movement that spanned the globe in a year of turmoil.
This year’s winner, while not yet announced by the magazine, is a no-brainer to me. This year’s winner is “The Lie,” the hypocrisy, the manipulation, the double standard, and the partisanship in our government, in the press, in the United Nations, on college campuses, on almost any stage and platform you can find.
The lack of the basic quest for a semblance of truth has reached epic levels. A Republican must have no opinions or he is unfit for the job. A reporter can hijack every press conference and cannot be controlled. A person of color must win an election or the election was tainted and racism has occurred. Winners are illegitimate unless they happen to be of a particular party. Israel, through its defense of its citizens, is preventing the reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas, and the list of lies goes on and on and on.
The college campuses have become seething cauldrons of anti-Semitism due to the persistent deluge of blood libels against the Jewish people and the Jewish state. We are vilified each and every day by publications that claim to print “all the news that is fit to print,” and yet the lie that we control the media persists.
The result of the persistent lies is a generation that will never know the truth. And when one does not know the truth, the world order implodes. When one does not know the truth, and cares not for the truth, congresswomen who couldn’t pass a ninth-grade civics course get elected to Congress.
When one does not want to know the truth, Airbnb and perhaps others boycott parts of Israel, and the BDS movement grows and grows, not because it is accurate, but because it’s a lie—and lies grow faster than truth.
When one is not interested in the truth, honest men have their professional and personal lives destroyed. And when the liars are exposed, the liars’ handlers are silent.
When a significant and powerful part of the population lies to the masses, a nation of dummies is created as all rational thinking gives way to accusations and hysteria. The next generation will boast some of the most unintelligent, misinformed, partisan do-nothings this country has ever seen. True accomplishments are built on truth, not on spin.
So we suffer in this country, and Israel suffers from a populace that has little if any interest in the truth.
Internally, Israel suffers from just the opposite. The electorate here is woefully uninformed, with little desire for and even less access to the truth. The electorate in Israel is just the opposite; they strive for the truth, and when they feel they are not receiving the truth, they revolt. Seventy-four percent of the Israeli public disapproves of the way Bibi handled the latest round with Hamas in Gaza.
For years, we have been told that Judgement Day for our enemies to the south is but a moment away, only for Bibi to hold back, perhaps wisely. Only Bibi and his inner cabinet know the entire picture, and therefore it is difficult to castigate the prime minister. But he needs to understand that to the well-educated and engaged Israeli, promises not kept because of secrets he can’t share with us are not going to quell the desire for specific answers and decisive actions that put an end to this madness once and for all.
The Israeli citizen is an engaged citizen, far beyond the level of engagement of the average Joe you will meet on the street here. The Israeli citizen craves the truth and is not raised on a diet of lies to the extent that we are here.
The network news is unwatchable. They are no longer content to report the news. They want to be the news. More than any other factor, they are the ones who have created this year’s Time Magazine winner.
The lie is this year’s big winner. Truth and a forward-moving, educated, engaged, and productive society is the biggest loser.
David Seidemann is a partner with the law firm of Seidemann and Mermelstein and serves as a professor of business law at Touro College. He can be reached at 718-692-1013 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Read more of David Seidemann’s articles here.