Monday, January 30, 2017
And the winner is “post-truth.” From the Washington Post:
The dictionary defines “post-truth” as “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.”
In this case, the “post-” prefix doesn't mean “after” so much as it implies an atmosphere in which a notion is irrelevant — but then again, who says you have to take our word for it anymore?
In a review for the Harvard Gazette, Christopher Robichaud, lecturer in ethics and public policy at Harvard Kennedy School described conspiracy theories about the legitimacy of elections and politicians – for example, the "birther" idea that Barack Obama is not a natural-born U.S. citizen – as one side-effect of post-truth politics, and contrasted the behaviour of the candidates with that following the contested result of the 2000 election, in which Al Gore conceded and encouraged his supporters to accept the result of Bush v. Gore.Similarly, Rob Boston writing for The Humanist saw a rise in conspiracy theories across American public life, including Birtherism, the edited Planned Parenthood videos and movements denying climate change and rejecting evolution, which he identified as a result of post-truth politics, noting that the existence of extensive and widely available evidence against these conspiracy theories had not slowed their growth.
In 2016, the "post-truth" label was especially widely used to describe the presidential campaign of Donald Trump, including by Brogan Morris writing in Salon, Professor Daniel W. Drezner in The Washington Post, Jonathan Freedland in The Guardian, Chris Cillizza in The Independent, Jeet Heer in The New Republic, and James Kirchick in the Los Angeles Times, and by several professors of government and history at Harvard. Following the 2016 United States presidential election, President Barack Obama stated that the new media ecosystem "means everything is true and nothing is true".