To the Editor:
“The Death of Truth,” a book by Michiko Kakutani, spotlights the current fragile state of the truth in society by using the falsehoods that have monopolized this age of Trump and his daily disregard for the truth.
The Washington Post reported that in his first 700 days, our President made 7,546 false or misleading claims. Journalists’ frequent use of the word “lie” has lost its sting. Defensive statements by his administration such as “Truth isn’t truth” and “alternate facts” further exacerbate the problem.
So why is this happening? The Wall Street Journal stated the White House is calculating that most GOP voters will believe (support) whatever the President tells them to believe. Factor in apparent gullibility, denial and stubborn pride of Trump’s base and you have part of the answer.
A WSJ op-ed described this dangerous situation as “part of the Trumpian urge to recreate past greatness while taking the country to extremely dark places.”
Kakutani explains further that Trump did not start this problem of exploiting the wobbly status of truth: “The problem is, too many are willing to tolerate politicians warping the truth and are careless about the veracity of information so long as it suits their view.”
The answer for society is not to give in. It is essential that citizens defy the cynicism and resignation that autocrats and power-hungry politicians depend upon to subvert resistance.
Not a bad resolution to begin with in 2019. With common sense and independent thinking on the issues, we can make a difference.