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Lansing Labor News
Established 1945
September 19, 2019
Recording Secretary Scott Lounds
Updated On: Apr 24, 2019

April 2019

The Oxford dictionary defines post-truth as “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.” There are many experts that believe we live in a post-truth world.  Where statements are either believed or disbelieved not on their own factualness but instead through a lens of personally held ideas. The saddest part about this is that never in all human history has more information, evidence, or truth been available to human kind.  Not too long ago “fact checkers” were a special breed of people who worked mainly at newspapers and in other media industries. But, now we can all be fact checkers. And we all need to be.
A perfect example of post-truth politics was President Trump blaming the closing of the Lordstown GM facility on Union dues. What? Even someone who had no knowledge of how Unions work could have figured out that Union dues are paid by employees not corporations and couldn’t possibly affect the profitability of a jobsite.  Not only that, but plants that are still running within GM have the exact same dues structure.  But, there were certainly people who took the President’s statement as truth. I would like to believe that President Trump knows that his statement is illogical in the extreme, but if he does know how can it not be seen as a lie? How do these kinds of statements, clearly false, not raise more of a public outcry? Fact checking fatigue maybe?
I remember many years ago talking to a basketball coach who always applied a full-court pressing defense, I asked him whether he had an issue with kids getting in foul trouble, he said not normally because the refs would get tired of calling fouls on every play. I fear that is where we are at as a country, the constant barrage of falsities that we are faced with has reached a tipping point where both the media and the citizens are just tired of calling fouls.  We in the Labor movement cannot fall victim to that.  We must strive to overcome the untruths that our opponents, whether the corporations we work for, or anti-worker politicians, put forth against us every day and take solace in fighting the good fight.  We can only fight untruth with truth and “alternative facts” with actual facts.  And if you see a foul, call it a foul.

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