Markets plummet. The value of truth has never been lower..

9 Nov

As I watched Donald  Trump, quite graciously accept his victory and offer generous words of condolence to Secretary Clinton, I pondered how the currency of truth has fared on both sides of the Atlantic these last six months.

Are we in a post-truth era where falsehoods have more traction than truths? When the actor Alec Baldwin mimicked Trump on Saturday Night Live, he joked with the stooge interviewer that she was a ‘Lez’ with Hilary. When this ludicrous suggestion was vehemently denied Baldwin/Trump’s riposte was :It doesn’t matter because I said it. Now half the country believes it!

On this side of the Atlantic the tabloid press accused senior High Court judges, our highest protectors of truth, as being enemies of the people. It may be true that many of those who voted in the referendum- on both sides- struggled to make complete sense of complex issues. It was certainly true that lies played a significant part – and there was a will to believe the lies. Bright people write for the Express, The Mail etc. They know the difference between a truth and a lie. The judge are neither liars nor enemies of the people. They have no alternative but to uphold the rule of law – and tell the truth.

How do the supposedly great democracies of the UK and the USA retrieve the situation? What would the Founding Fathers have thought of the presidential candidates on offer to the great American dreamers? Politicians are in the dock, seemingly everywhere. The political elite of America has been dealt a huge blow. Whatever truth that Hilary Clinton conveyed about her character and her emails, the majority of citizens in Florida and Ohio, most crucially, decided that they would decide on their own truth, not the version peddled by career, wealthy politicians.

And over here the political elite wrestle with the post-truth era. Even Farridge, Pouty Gove and Boris the Spider have been taken aback by the success of their lies. And a moderate Conservative administration has been replaced by  hard-Brexiting, neo-UKIP Tory privateers with Mother Theresa-Maybe-Thatcher going over the top for them.

Let’s get back to truth. The multi-billion facts which are internetted each day need to be trusted by us –  and the generations which follow. We must have a culture that reveres truth, seeks it out and demands evidence. If we believe lies then we are likely to follow those who tell us their own convenient truths. Of course we want to hear that great prosperity is around the corner, that our ills will be remedied and all will be well.

Donald J Trump will find the Oval Office a very different place from the Campaign Office. Will the value of truth rise in his estimation when he gets there on January 20th? The jury is, of course, out.

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