With the rise in authoritarian politics under the Trump administration, lying became a major pillar of Trump’s leadership philosophy. Historically, authoritarians have displaced the existing truth and replaced it with their truth. They create a following that sees the leader as the paragon of truth, while all others, outside the clan are seen as charlatans and liars. A massive truth schism is formed, with both sides claiming victory in the truth war. Authoritarians push the idea that feelings are more accurate than facts (post-truth) and that objective truth should be discounted (postmodernism). The fact that approximately 40 million Americans believe that Trump won the election, is evidence that the truth has become intangible, and fact and fiction have become indistinguishable for a large faction of our society. This is no accident, as this is how authoritarians throughout history have worked. When a person can be convinced that the most ridiculous things are true, then it is just as easy to convince that person that the truth is ridiculous.
Disclaimer: As submitted to the Arizona Daily Star.