Candidates in a "Post-Truth Culture"Mar 16, 2016
This morning while remarking about yet another example of Donald Trump saying one thing and reversing himself within minutes of the original statement, Matt Lauer was found saying, “We live in a post-truth era. “ I don’t typically find the Today Show to be a place of profound insight but maybe Matt stumbled on to something.
In the instance in question, the Donald wasn’t flipping flopping between two opposite opinions about an issue, this particular time, Donald said he had seen a video slamming him for his views of women and then within minutes, Trump, the same Donald Trump, stated that he had not seen the video--ironically starting his statement with the word “honestly.”
“Honestly, I have not seen the ad. So I would have to see it. I have heard about the ad, but I have not seen the ad."
Presumably, there is a fact in there somewhere: either Trump has seen the video or he has not. Either he lied in his first statement or he lied in his second statement.
A discussion ensued with Nicole Wallace, Chuck Todd and others as to whether this sort of thing hurts a candidate. The analysts all seemed to agree that at one time, such a flip-flop would indeed harm a candidate but today, “we live in a post-truth era.”
While we know moral relativism has been a part of our culture for some years, that term doesn’t nearly describe reality. It’s not simply that no external truth exists (God or inalienable rights that come from Him) and thus morality is subjective, it’s so much more.
When did this post-truth era begin? That’s a long story, but I know that when the definition of “is” became a centerpiece of modern discourse, we were headed for trouble. Another factor that accelerated us into this era includes social media where everyone is an “expert,” throwing opinions out as facts. When everyone is their own expert the line between fact and fiction gets blurry. Of course, some of this is a result of those in positions of influence (government, media, science, church) acting very Trump like, advocating their opinion over truth.
Mr. Lauer and his cohosts ought to look in the mirror and take some responsibility. For some time now, the mainstream media has manipulated the facts into a secular-left narrative, reducing themselves to a status far below truth-teller. As a result, American trust of the media is at a well-earned historic low.
Does it matter that Trump routinely flip-flops on facts in a post-truth era? Sadly, it certainly doesn’t appear so.