‘Post-truth’ won’t help Trump govern
“Post-truth” is a newly coined word in the 2016 Oxford dictionaries. It is related to Andrew A. Green’s idea of the 2016 election as the possible end of objective reality (“Your own facts,” Nov. 18). Post-truth as a political strategy involves trying to shape public opinion more by emotions and personal beliefs than by objective facts. This was Donald Trump’s campaign strategy, but it has serious costs when it becomes a strategy for governing.
Do we really want a president who is unwilling to rely on time-honored ways of knowing the truth and relies instead on the internet, propagandists, his “gut,” and the last person who had his ear? What kinds of decisions will he make if he eschews serious research and does not expose himself to the diverse array of opinions, arguments and established facts that surround the issues he addresses? Will he ignore respected experts and scholars and embrace opinions that seem to represent the those he sees as his core constituency or most loyal supporters? Or will he simply act in his own interests, disregarding the consequences for our country?
So far, Donald Trump has been cavalier in presenting his opinions as truths. What does this imply about how he will make decisions as president? Post-truth got him elected, but it is a not an effective strategy for presidential leadership. We can only hope that Mr. Trump recognizes the difference between campaigning and governing and pivots toward a more careful, deliberate and rational strategy when he becomes president. It is far more likely to help him make America great.