I don’t believe that most Donald Trump supporters are racists, misogynists or xenophobes. But I do believe that most of them are the victims of “truthiness,” Stephen Colbert’s term for the belief that what you believe should be true actually is true.
Truthiness is based in the belief that the ideas of anyone who knows more than you do about a subject is suspect. This idea is now so embedded in the American people that they consider “fake” or partisan almost all the conclusions of anyone with expertise, anyone who has actually studied a subject objectively. Confirmation bias, the tendency to look only at opinions that confirm your own, is a human characteristic. But it’s now been legitimized by Fox News and to a lesser degree MSNBC. If you get all your information from any bubble, you are almost certainly a victim of truthiness.
Truthiness absolutely carried the day in this election. Go back and look at Trump’s claims about immigration, the economy, crime or climate. It’s rarely the case that they agree with the actual data or facts.
Too many Americans indicate a continuing disdain and distrust for knowledge and education.
Our descent into ignorance and indifference is almost complete.