This week's edition of Time, a magazine to which I've subscribed for years, asks this very question: "Is Truth Dead?" The context is the Trump Administration and the President's penchant for sharing "alternative facts." He has a history of making outlandish and often untrue statements, one of which was the accusation that President Obama wiretapped his phones. There are many examples of false statements on his part, which include his leadership in the Birther Movement, which in many ways propelled his rise to political fame. He has branded the traditional press as purveyors of "fake news," even as he draws from less than reputable sources for his own declarations. At one point in the lead article, the author, Michael Scherer, notes that "Trump has discovered something about epistemology in the 21st century. The truth may be real, but falsehood often works better."
Donald Trump has found a way to use falsehoods to further his own agenda, but he isn't alone, and it's not new. We seem as a people susceptible to embracing ideas that match our ideologies, even if they aren't true. There's a word for this. It's "truthiness." It has it's origins with Stephen Colbert, but has become a well-worn term. So the question is, does truth matter? Have we entered a "post-truth" era, because as Jack Nicholson's character in A Few Good Men told his interrogator, "You can't handle the truth."