This morning I read a reference to “true” facts, as opposed to “alt” facts.
Stop right there! “True fact” is terminology more suited to some grade-B crime comic or Trumpine eruption than serious dialogue. A fact is a fact. A “true fact” is not just a redundancy, but an implicit acknowledgement that the hallucinogenic notion of an “alt fact” is legitimate.
There are facts, there are statements, and there are provably-false statements – colloquially known as bullshit. As Bertrand Russell pointed out, if people refrained from uttering provably-false statements, our lives would be greatly simplified. Whatever the Trump administration intends, and clearly they are still trying to understand their intentions, we can be confident that simplification is not high on their agenda. Their BS is a big reason why.
On the other hand, it looks like we’re starting to simplify things.
We’re beginning to disallow the hijacking of reality to which the Trump administration is increasingly addicted. The inspiring grass-roots rejection of the “Bowling Green Massacre” was proof that social media is morally neutral, and can as powerfully support reality as distort it. Kellyanne Conway’s verifiably-false “Massacre” was almost instantly called out – a ringing confirmation, both that people can fight back against reality-jacking, and that we are our own best defense against BS. The mainstream media could do little more than watch the action from the sidelines.
Likewise, we can reject Trumpine hijacking of the English language in pursuit of alt-reality ends. There are no alt-facts, only statements. There are no true facts, only facts. There is certainly BS, but we’re seeing this can be quickly identified, with ridicule heaped on the perpetrators. When those perpetrators arrogantly presume that any statement is as good as a fact, and that only the a statement’s source matters, ridicule is our best defense and a just reward.