I generally like the idea of having a spirited conversation with someone who disagrees with me. I don’t believe either side has a monopoly on being right or wrong. First of all, I think life is boring when we only talk to people who agree with us, we never learn anything. Second of all, if we cannot defend our position to someone with the opposite view, how can we really know how good of a position it is? And lastly, we need to talk to each other if we are going to work together.
The problem today is that we all come to conversations with our own ideas about what the “truth” is. Daniel Patrick Moynihan said, “You have a right to your own opinion but not your own facts.” Well, today, you are entitled to both.
Here are some of the “facts” people have told me this year:
- Huma Abedin is in the leadership of the Muslim Brotherhood.
- Angela Merkel endorsed Hillary Clinton.
- Saudi Arabia funded 20% of Hillary’s campaign.
- Hillary leaked Chris Stevens’ schedule and that’s what led to his death.
- There is proof that the DNC has committed election fraud.
- The Clinton’s skilled Anontin Scalia
- President Obama is buying up all the emergency supplies and having FEMA move them to secret places so he could halt the election and stay in the White House.
- China hacks us. Russia hacks us. We hack them.
- Millions of illegal immigrants voted for Hillary.
- And we’ve all heard of the Pizza Gate
Of course, I asked where they got these “facts.” They sent me a sundry of random blogs, websites and message boards. I tried to counter them with facts I had. None of it mattered. They asked where I got my facts and when I told them, they said, “If you are going to listen to the MSM…” At the end of the day, they told me that they thought their sources were right and mine were wrong. The argument that “they have their news and I have mine” creates a false equivalency. While, in a way, it is true, it isn’t really.
Here are the places I get my news: MSNBC, CNN, FOX News, Politico, the Washington Post, NY Times, Wall Street Journal, LA Times, the Daily Beast, NPR, BBC and others. If I read something that sounds “out there” I check more news sites. I don’t “blindly follow” anything or anyone.
Some journalists, like Chuck Todd, have called this era we are in “the post truth era.” How can we work together if we have different realities?
When it comes to the recent hacking stuff, I care because I don’t think we should let Russia get away with playing with our election. It would bother just as much if he had done this to the other side. I don’t want Russia hacking us in any way.
Donald Trump supporters don’t care. They say, “It wouldn’t have changed anything so, no harm, no foul. Let’s move on. Trump’s election was legitimate.” Move along, nothing to see here.
I honestly don’t know where we can go from here if we are going have our own facts but I do know this is a sad state of affairs. Welcome to the end of truth era.