Out: ‘I want to know the truth.’ In: ‘I stand with…’

September 28, 2018

Optical-illusion-type painting by Oleg Shuplyak of man's face made up of landscape, smaller man looking at viewer, and woman walking away

(Party in power nominates Mr. B.)

Opposition-party senators:  I will oppose this nomination with everything I’ve got.

Mrs. F:  I accuse Mr. B of attempted rape at a party we went to.  His friends Mr. MJ and Mr. PJ and my friend Mrs. K were all there.

Mr. MJ:  I never saw Mr. B do anything like that.

Mr. PJ:  I don’t remember any such party.

Mrs. K:  I was never at a party with Mr. B.

Mrs. F:  My accusation stands.

Opposition-party voters:  “I stand with” Mrs. F.


Trump and some of his supporters have been criticized for having a “postmodern” relationship to the truth, in the sense of not thinking of the truth as a matter of objective reality, so much as thinking (or feeling) that the truth is a matter of subjective tribal identity and solidarity and the raw struggle for power.  There’s some truth to that criticism.  But what some of our left-leaning friends still haven’t admitted to themselves is that some leaders (and supporters) on the left have also had a partly postmodern relationship to the truth.  They’ve been doing it for a long time.  At some level, some on the right got tired of trying to win on such a non-level playing field, and they said, To hell with all that.

This is part of how we got Trump.


(Credit for art above: Ukrainian painter Oleg Shuplyak; hat tip to E. D. W. Lynch.)

One Response to “Out: ‘I want to know the truth.’ In: ‘I stand with…’”

  1. I oppose the idea of ideology over rationality. God gave us brains and expects their use.

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