Post-truth or just plain lies

Folks might be interested that the Washington Post — a world renowned newspaper — just created a new app that automatically adds fact checking to Donald Trump’s twitter posts. It’s bad: the American president-elect is showing the entire world that he is nearly incapable of telling the truth, or even keeping track of his lies.

Surprisingly, almost half of Albertans think that this unapologetic liar will be good for America (and Alberta) because he promises to build pipelines. (We won’t think Trump’s so great if he tears up our trade agreements but, hopefully, he’s lied about that, too.)

They say that truth is the first casualty of war. I am worried that the lack of truth will bring us to war. Trump is taunting a longtime trading partner and emerging superpower — China — and is cozying up to Russia, a longtime enemy. Trump blames China for “taking jobs away” from Americans, but that’s a lie. Americans voted for free trade and willingly gave their manufacturing jobs away. It was a bad policy, but not China’s fault.

Weirdly, despite the fact that Russia invaded Ukraine and annexed the Crimea, hacked a presidential candidate’s emails and is deploying a brutal strategy to support the Syrian dictatorship, Trump is pals with Putin.

Politicians who want to distract us from the truth create hatred, fabricate an enemy, or else we might notice what they are actually up to. For Hitler, it was Jews. For Saddam Hussein, it was Kurds. For Americans who invaded Iraq, it was Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction (which didn’t actually exist). For Trump, it’s Muslims and Mexicans (even though Muslims make up less than 1% of Americans, and American agriculture falls apart without Mexicans).

So why lie? Why create hatred toward minorities? It makes no sense until you follow the money. Hitler got incredibly rich before he was defeated, and so did Saddam Hussein. American wanted access to Iraqi oil fields. Now, Trump’s Secretary of State holds a top position ExxonMobil, which holds interests in Russian oil. People who stand to get richer from American public policy don’t want us to pay attention to that, so they point the finger at Muslims and Mexicans, telling outrageous lies like, for instance, that Mexicans are rapists. Their hope is that we’ll be so busy hating each other that we won’t notice what’s really going on.

This kind of talk is infecting Canada, too. People like Ezra Levant have always been around, but Rebel Media — which spreads misinformation about climate change and immigration, and focuses inordinately on crimes committed by Muslims — is gaining supporters. In these dangerous times, we have to watch leaders very carefully, and not let ourselves be distracted from the truth. 


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