The dangers of the post-truth era

Oxford Dictionaries has designated "post-truth" as its Word of the Year, defining it as "relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief". Commentators examine the causes of post-truth politics.

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La Vanguardia (ES) /

The politically correct also spread lies

Donald Trump didn't invent post-truth politics, La Vanguardia observes:

“Respected opinion-makers lament the triumph of post-truth, pointing to how Trump spread fake reports that his voters eagerly gobbled up. However this has been going on for many years in politically correct circles but it didn't seem to worry anybody up to now. Many progressives turn a deaf ear to objective reality yet respond to highly questionable theories and completely unfounded prejudices. Admittedly there are right-wing extremists (including Trump) who deny climate change, for example; but naturalist fanatics have also been spreading myths about food, animals and health for years. They say that the chemicals in our food are poisoning us even though it's clear as day that we humans are living longer now than we ever did before.”

El Mundo (ES) /

A breeding ground of superstition

Author Irene Lozano explains in El Mundo why post-truth politics is so difficult to counter:

“Given that no society can advance without large quantities of reliable facts, the spirit of the post-truth era isn't dangerous because it puts emotion above reason but because superstition has dismantled the paradigm that was driving us forward. To banish this threat we must understand where superstition gets its power from. … Why did it take centuries to put an end to the belief that the Earth was flat? Because the superstitious narrative was very coherent and credible. It provided simple explanations to things many people found difficult to understand. This is precisely what Donald Trump did with many voters. His narrative about the dangers of trade agreements and the evils of international companies tied in with the experiences and intuition of millions of normal people.”