Fighting the Normalization of Post-Truth Politics

Donald Trump’s rally speech in Phoenix on August 22 was full of falsehoods. The lack of outrage over his deceptive statements points to the normalization of post-truth politics, when appeals to personal beliefs and emotions wins out over objective facts. To avoid this normalization, we need to borrow the successful tactics of the environmental movement in dealing with the pollution of our environment.

 

During this speech, according to highly credible fact-checking organizations such as Factcheck.org and Politifact, Trump misled the audience as to his reaction to the Charlottesville violence, such as by neglecting to mention that he blamed “both sides.” He made false claims about the media, for instance that CNN’s ratings went down when they are rising, or that the media failed to report on Trump’s condemnation of racism, when they did. In the economic arena, he stated that wages “haven’t gone up for a long time,” when actually they’ve risen for at least the last three years. Another example of economic deception: Trump wrongly claimed that the US has “become an energy exporter for the first time ever just recently.”

 

Where is the outrage over these deceptions? This is our President, systematically sowing misinformation. Most of his falsehoods – such as the statement about the wages or CNN ratings – had been debunked earlier. Yet he kept repeating them, leaving no other interpretation than a deliberate intent to deceive, the dictionary definition of lying.

This lying is part of a broader pattern: Trump’s Politifact file shows an astounding 49 percent of his statements, are false. By comparison, his opponent in the US presidential election Hillary Clinton’s file shows that only 12 percent of her statements were false, 14 percent for the Republican Speaker of the House Paul Ryan. Despite Trump’s extremely high rate of deception, many still believe him. As an example, 44 percent of those polled believed his falsehoods about Obama wiretapping Trump Tower during the 2016 election campaign.

 

Thus, many will believe his Phoenix rally claims, despite debunking by fact-checkers. Unfortunately, 29 percent of the public, and only 12 percent of Trump supporters, trustfact-checkers. This mistrust enables Trump to pollute our politics with deception, undermining the trust so crucial to the political health of any democracy…

 

Read more on HuffPost

Photo credit: Wikimedia commons

 Is Fake News the New Norm?

“Basket of Deplorables” Riffs on Trump’s America

“A new collection of short stories by Tom Rachman considers privacy and cultural bubbles in a post-truth era.

The first sentence of Basket of Deplorables announces, “You can’t see me right now. Then again, I can’t see you either.” You can take the narrator, Georgina, literally: A recent head injury has left her blind, and adrift at a buzzing election-night party at a Tribeca loft where she feels increasingly alienated from the intellectuals, musicians, and n+1 editors in her social circle. But her statement applies to all five of Tom Rachman’s new stories, released on Audible in the U.S. and in book form in Britain and Australia. Set consciously in the current moment and a few years from now, the darkly satirical tales consider a broader kind of cultural myopia—one that afflicts conservatives and liberals alike.

There’s something inevitable, if not rote, in the first wave of cultural works responding to the Trump presidency. Most seem sprung from outrage or sheer incomprehension: “The nightmare is in high gear,” is how the playwright Tony Kushner described his in-progress play about Donald Trump to The Daily Beast. But even in this early phase, it’s apparent that the 45th president is as difficult a subject as he is irresistible. Neither satire nor fiction can adequately capture him. So writers might be wise to consider him obliquely, as Rachman does: as a presence in the room, not a focal point. Basket of Deplorables is less interested in Trump than in the people and factors that enabled his presidency, and sometimes not even in those. Its point is that Americans’ increasing polarization and suspicion of each other is leading to a place that could make even 2017 seem like halcyon days for humanity by comparison.

The world of the five stories is an intricate, interconnected one, with many of the various connections and hints only emerging on a second read. The first tale, from which the collection gets its name, is set on November 8, 2016, at a prototypically dazzling Manhattan soiree, where fashion designers mingle with cultural theory professors and Salvadoran waiters serve sumac-spiced appetizers raided from “the pages of Ottolenghi.” Georgina, the narrator, is a former photographer known for her caustic images of rock stars and artists; her good-natured partner, Roger, is a publisher who prides himself on his parties, where Henry Kissinger and Britney Spears might both be proffered as cultural curiosities for the left-leaning “hothouse intellectuals” in attendance.”

Read more at The Atlantic

Featured photo credit: The Atlantic

Would You Read This Collection of Short Stories?

 

Estonian Leader Rues ‘Post-Truth’ Politics Before Trump Meeting

Image: Kersti Kaljulaid, Estonia’s president, pauses during an interview at the presidential palace in Tallinn on April 6, 2017

Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid criticized politicians who pursue divisive political campaigns and disregard facts, setting the tone a day before she meets U.S. President Donald Trump.

Leaders who win office with the help of “post-truth” campaigns but can’t deliver on their promises will see their governments fail, Kaljulaid told a conference in the Latvian capital, Riga, Wednesday. From there, she’ll head to Warsaw where she’ll meet her counterparts from 12 central and eastern European countries in the Three Seas Initiative. Trump will also attend.

“Post-truth is a short-termist strategy,” she said. “To counter post-truth politics, we need better political leadership.”

Read more on Bloomberg.com

Photo credit: Peti Kollanyi/Bloomberg

 

Do you agree with President Kersti Kaljulaid?

“Post-Truth” officially added to the Oxford English Dictionary

“Oxford English Dictionary delved into the political.

The dictionary added the words “woke” and “post-truth” to its 2017 update. The words are particularly linked to the 2016 presidential election and issues on race and police shootings.

The dictionary said “post-truth” denotes “circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping political debate or public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.'”

Article/ Photo : FoxNews.com

What others political words/terms should be in the dictionary?

 

Post-truth? “It’s pure nonsense”

“For as long as there have been politicians, they have lied, fabricated and deceived. The manufacture of falsehood has changed over time, as the machinery becomes more sophisticated. Straight lies give way to sinuous spin, and open dishonesty disappears behind Newspeak and Doublethink. However, even if honesty is sometimes the best policy, politics is addressed to people’s opinions, and the manipulation of opinion is what it is all about. Plato held truth to be the goal of philosophy and the ultimate standard that disciplines the soul. But even he acknowledged that people cannot take very much of it, and that peaceful government depends on ‘the noble lie’.” –  / Spectator.co.uk

What do you think? Is there such a thing as a noble lie? 

Read more here – https://www.spectator.co.uk/2017/06/post-truth-its-pure-nonsense/

Photo credit: Spectator.co.uk

 

The Post-Truth World – Why Have We Had Enough Of Experts?

We are living in a post-truth world, where alternative facts and fake news compete on an equal footing with peer-reviewed research and formerly-authoritative sources such as the United Kingdom’s global news and current affairs service, the BBC.

Read more:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/lbsbusinessstrategyreview/2017/05/22/the-post-truth-world-why-have-we-had-enough-of-experts/#15b8140754e6

How to fight ‘fake news’ in a post-truth environment

Though co-opted by US President Donald Trump, the ‘fake news’ phenomenon is global and weakening trust in media.

Its definition is unclear and can change depending on whom you ask. It is used in increasingly politicised ways across much of the world.

And, although its leap to prominence is largely due to 140-character Twitter posts coming out of the White House, it now has widespread implications for journalism, politics, and how people everywhere share information online.

But what exactly is “fake news” and what effect is it having globally?

Read more:

http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2017/03/fight-fake-news-post-truth-environment-170327162945897.html