“Post-truth” – Yikes!!!
Early morning newspaper reading introduced me to a new word – “post-truth.” In an op-ed by Ruth Marcus “We’ve now started a new post-truth era in U.S. politics,” I learned that in November the Oxford Dictionaries added “post-truth” as the international word of the year: “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.” YIKES! Time – long overdue time – for all of us nonfiction writers of and lovers of objective evidence and facts to step-up and decry post-trutherisms. How? Vigilance and active challenging of post-truthers and post-truism whenever and wherever we encounter them – the media, the classroom, conversations with family, friends, strangers! “Of course, Trump is not the first truth-impaired president.” writes Ruth Marcus, “Ronald Reagan famously insisted on repeating tall tales; he conflated Hollywood with reality. ‘If you tell the same story five times, it’s true,’ said white House press secretary Larry Speakes. But today we have the conjunction of a president unconstrained by facts with a media environment siloed into partisan echo chambers and polluted by fake news. The citizen’s challenge is to remain vigilant against the enticing lure of post-truth politics.