Pur Autre Vie

I'm not wrong, I'm just an asshole

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Fake News

Very quick point. The concept of "fake news" has become a toxic idea spreading within our political system. It is a way of dismissing inconvenient facts, and it is a major aspect of our collective inability to process information.
This is seen as a disease of the right, and it is undoubtedly most prevalent there. But cases are starting to pop up all over the left too. I noticed this during the 2016 primaries, when Sanders supporters went into full-on reality-denial mode. Clinton would win a state, and as the results came in the vote tally would change in each precinct or whatever. Sometimes the media outlet reporting the results would make a mistake, and the numbers would have to be revised. Sanders supporters became convinced that what was really going on was that poll workers were destroying ballots to rig the election for Clinton.

Anyway my point is that no one is immune from this stuff. The other point I'd make is that avoiding this stuff is partly a personal virtue, or obligation if you prefer to think of it that way (resisting the temptation to comfort yourself by avoiding the truth), but also partly a social norm that must be enforced. If you don't want the left to turn into a mirror image of the right, I suggest talking to your friends if you see them going down this road. In the very short run you can "do better" politically by spreading nonsense, but it is catastrophic over time, as the conservative movement amply demonstrates. We must maintain standards, for our own sake and because it's the right thing to do.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is so very important. The left is better than the right and needs to win, but it needs to win while remaining better. You need to win to effect change. but if you are not better than your opposition the change you effect is without value.

12:52 PM  

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