Well, word is out.
Disagreements over policy have always existed—but disagreements over basic facts have not.
It's a phenomenon that RAND CEO Michael Rich calls “truth decay.” And it's been on his mind since long before the election results brought the topic into sharp relief, he told the audience Friday night as part of a Politics Aside discussion called Erosion of Truth.
“This is to me really a dangerous and unusual time in history. Because Americans not only feel entitled to their opinions—and rightly so—but many of them, a growing number of them, frankly, across the political spectrum also feel entitled to cherry pick facts to support their opinion, or even commission up new 'facts' if necessary,” Rich said. “…When everyone has their own facts, then nobody really has any facts at all.”
Type “fake news” into google and you receive about 2.8MM hits.
The flood of “fake news” this election season got support from a sophisticated Russian propaganda campaign that created and spread misleading articles online with the goal of punishing Democrat Hillary Clinton…
…they portrayed Clinton as a criminal hiding potentially fatal health problems and preparing to hand control of the nation to a shadowy cabal of global financiers. The effort also sought to heighten the appearance of international tensions and promote fear of looming hostilities with nuclear-armed Russia.
OK, got it.
So, let me understand the true facts:
· The Ukraine is not adjacent to Russia; in fact, it is closer to Washington DC than it is to Moscow
· Russia had no presence or even history in Crimea prior to violently invading the peninsula
· NATO is not moving ever-closer to Russian borders
· These aren’t NATO exercises in the Baltics
· NATO ships adjacent to Kaliningrad? Just hallucinations
· Russia is not staring at the largest military build-up on its borders since 1941
· The Clinton Foundation is spotless: no conflicts-of-interest, no quid-pro-quo with questionable actors, no slush fund for a lavish Clinton friends-and-family lifestyle
· Hillary followed the law regarding her email account
· Hillary wasn’t sick that day she stumbled into her car
· Bill and Hillary haven’t been paid tens of millions of dollars for a few twenty minute speeches to Wall Street bankers
· Hillary never threatened Syria – and thereby Russia – with imposing a no-fly zone over the country
· Russia doesn’t have nuclear weapons
· All the pollsters just made honest mistakes leading up to the election
· There is no bias in mainstream media reporting
That’s just in the last year or two.
If those at the RAND Corporation can support these facts, as opposed to the “fake news” that was prevalent during this election cycle, perhaps they could defend these facts.
Until then, if you can’t tell: no one cares what you think.