The Atlantic: Trump’s Sinister Assault on Truth. “The president appears committed to destroying the very idea of facts.” By Peter Wehner, contributing editor at The Atlantic and senior fellow at EPPC.
“Trump is not simply a serial liar; he is attempting to murder the very idea of truth, which is even worse. “The point of modern propaganda isn’t only to misinform or push an agenda,” according to the Russian dissident and former world chess champion Garry Kasparov. “It is to exhaust your critical thinking, to annihilate truth.”
Destroy the foundation of factual truth, and lies will be normalized. This is what the Czech dissident (and later president) Václav Havel described in the late 1970s when he wrote about his fellow citizens making their own inner peace with a regime built on hypocrisy and falsehoods. They were “living within the lie.” In such a situation life becomes farcical, demoralizing, a theater of the absurd. It is soul-destroying.
The United States is still quite a long way from the situation Havel found himself in. But to keep it that way—to keep civic vandalism from spreading—we all have a role to play, including calling out lies, including the lies of Trump, in every way we can.
The most obvious thing Americans can do is to vote for men and women who prize integrity and are, in the main, truth-tellers. It doesn’t seem too much to ask that we not vote for those who are chronically dishonest and corrupt. Americans can also end their financial support for parties that are aiding and abetting compulsive liars.“