Political leaders need to spread unique, common message during times of distress


Archit Kalra

We all know this year has been one of the most polarized, frustrating, and painful years we’ve lived through. It’s only an insult to injury that we can’t even seem to get along to do something about it.

Disagreeing is integral to our success–we do it all the time! But it’s extremely problematic–and fatal–if we bicker during a crisis. When we as a human race are faced with the challenges that will define our generational success, our ability to survive depends more than ever on what our leaders recommend we do. Government officials have a responsibility to make sure that everyone gets a coherent message. If they don’t, we risk having to fight some unnecessary battles–like convincing people that the COVID-19 pandemic isn’t a hoax.

My dad is an infectious disease specialist, and goes to hospitals everyday with the purpose of treating people’s maladies, yet the one thing impossible to cure medically appears to be conspiracy. 

When even one person in power, one person with a voice, says something blatantly false, there are millions of people in our beautiful nation who will believe them blindly. On the other hand, there’ll be another influential person who will say something completely opposite. Who would we believe? Many of us would try to find the truth, maybe do some more research. But what about those who don’t? Some people will take controversial words at face value. In most cases, that’s perfectly fine, right? It’s not infringing on peoples’ ability to live. But some situations can’t be left open to interpretation–some situations have only one answer that everyone needs to know. That’s been especially true with the pandemic and with the recent elections. 

If we have an incoherent message from our political leaders about whether or not social distancing helps prevent COVID-19 (studies show it does), or whether or not wide-scale voter fraud existed in the 2020 elections (investigations show it didn’t), then each of us are living a separate reality. 

Again, I want to stress that I’m talking about incoherency here, not misinformation (though that is a big issue and they both go hand-in-hand). Right now, I’m just talking about the desperate need for one, unified message in our society. It’s ridiculous having to look at the blatant disagreement between political narratives that shouldn’t have any discrepancies at all. Is it too much to ask that we all share the same set of facts?

The views in this column do not necessarily reflect the views of the HiLite staff. Reach Archit Kalra at [email protected] Read more of his works here. For more of the HiLite content, click here.