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Does Truth Matter Anymore?

Essay by   •  October 20, 2017  •  Essay  •  680 Words (3 Pages)  •  975 Views

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When someone like Donald Trump questions Barack Obama’s American citizenship and argues that he founded ISIS, we feel that there is something wrong. But when some people start believing him, the situation becomes critical. Lying has always been a common thing in politics, yet the way some politicians lie today is deeply worrying.

The current presidential election in the United States with the character of the Republican candidate – Donald Trump – seems to be the epitome of what we can call the “post-truth” era. It is an era where Truth – meaning conformity to fact or actuality – is put on the back burner and does not matter anymore. As a matter of fact, according to Politifact “91% of the things Donald Trump says are False”. Mr. Trump gives the impression that he does not care if his words are related to any reality, as long as he can rally more voters.

Lying in politics is not something new and cannot be limited to Mr. Trump’s behaviour. You could think of what happened lately in the UK as some pro-BREXIT supporters argued that EU membership costs their country £350m ($470m) a week – which could be spent instead on the National Health Service – or way before in 1986, when Ronald Reagan claimed that he did not trade weapons for hostages with Iran, before confessing later that “My heart and my best intentions still tell me that’s true, but the facts and evidence tell me it is not”.

The definition of “Post-truth” politics given by the Economist is pretty accurate: “a reliance on assertions that “feel true” but have no basis in fact”. Truth here is not necessarily manipulated or questioned but is just of less importance. The 21th century is a century where emotions prevail above facts. That is why many voters prefer now “authentic” politicians who speak from the heart, meaning they are not afraid to say what they think. Who cares if they have made some mistakes? Some people contend that their boldness is proof of their defiance against the elite power that does not care about the people who are left behind.

Yet, as more and more barefaced liars are getting away even after reaching a new depth of falsehood, truth may become useless, which would pose a serious threat to democracy and the way we solve governments’ issues.

But, how have we got there?

Society as a complex structure is always evolving, leading to new trends. However, something as big as the loss of truth in the whole world could hardly be accounted for anything except a disruptive technology, namely Internet, which has consequently shaped the evolution of media.

In fact, the Internet has brought to people instant access to all the media in the world and hence an infinite source of information. Pushed to its limit, what could be a boon becomes a bane. Now more than ever, experts tend to contradict

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