Campaigning politicians have always inflated their own importance and the benefits of the policies they espouse — and exaggerated the perils of electing the other guy. It used to be the case that these self-aggrandizing stump speeches were tempered by a (mostly) diligent press that went out of its way to poke holes in those exaggerations and deflate egos with some sharply pointed facts. And Americans have historically trusted their elected leaders to tell the truth in matters of grave national importance.

No more. We are swimming in a cesspool of lies so fetid that it’s almost impossible to know what’s true anymore. This is a consequence of two political parties whose most visible and powerful members lie with impunity, and a national press that abandoned the pursuit of truth years ago in favor of pushing left-wing political propaganda.

Let’s take the current conflict between Russia and Ukraine. Is this nothing more than naked aggression by a larger country (Russia) run by an ex-KGB agent (President Vladimir Putin) who’s made no bones about wanting some (if not all) of the old Soviet territories back?

That’s the position being pushed by the Biden administration.

Putin, on the other hand, claims not only that parts (if not all) of Ukraine belong to Russia; he has intimated that the United States has been funding the development of possible biowarfare agents at laboratories in Ukraine, and that these pathogens could be used as weapons against Russia.

Until recently, most of us would have tended to believe the statements of our own government over the inflammatory accusations of a former Soviet strongman. But two-plus years of the covid-19 pandemic has proven that our own government lies to us continuously and repeatedly.

In fact, the similarities between the “Ukraine biolabs” story and the theory that SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes covid-19) emerged from the Wuhan Institute of Virology are remarkable.

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