The Frailty of Truth
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Opinion — Matt Faye, business owner, father of three

I made the case in a previous opinion The Urgency of Truth, that recognizing truth as a value was urgent because the coming election squarely put the issue at the top of the ballot. It stated that if we value truth, and we should, that there was only one choice for president, and that it wasn't Donald Trump. At the time, I wondered if his loss would mean that the urgency had passed, we had dodged the bullet, and that we could hang a big "Mission Accomplished" banner over the deck of our ship. Although I am relieved that it will not be Trump sitting in the big chair of the oval office after January, the short answer is we can not hang the banner. 

The long answer is that although he lost the election, as the people of this nation, our commitment to truth has not lost its urgency. The threat is no longer Donald Trump the person, because despite his false claims of mass election fraud and farfetched legal attempts to throw out democracy and maintain power, he will fail and be evicted from the White House in January. Thankfully, there are enough principled election officials, both democratic and republican, and enough clear-headed judiciaries who still believe evidence is a necessary part of a legal challenge, that the will of the people in a democratic society will once again decide who is in power, not the ones who wish to maintain it regardless. No, the threat is still clear and present because "Trumpism" is still alive and well, even if Trump himself will have to yield the office for the time being. Wether Trumpism gains momentum or subsides is still out to jury, and as a political movement, it can gain momentum in the hands of any successor choosing to make it their principle operating system. Truth as a value to our nation, is still under tremendous pressure and strain. 

To make this case, I first have to clarify an important distinction. What I refer to as "Trumpism" is in no way the same thing as Republicanism or conservatism, and that the battle for truth is not a battle between democrats and republicans. Although it is currently true that Trumpism resides strongly within the Republican party, a commitment to truth is neither universal to democrats or abandoned by all republicans. 

 

To further clarify, we need to first define what "Trumpism" is, and why it poses such a threat to truth. My hope is that this sermon isn't just going out to my coir, 

 

Further Reading: Trump’s contempt for truth leaves a toxic legacy around the world

Opinion by the Washington Post Editorial Board

SEPTEMBER 22, 2020

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