Mueller Can’t Fix Our Broken Brains

In a brilliant article written for Vox.com by David Roberts, we are introduced to what the author calls an “epistemic crisis” that has changed the very nature of knowing itself, at least for many Americans:

Epistemology is the study of knowledge, and of the rationality of belief.  Some things we think, some things we believe, and some things we know – and there’s a difference between these distinctions that can be studied.  Roberts is arguing that our understanding of what we know is being fundamentally changed and perverted by forces on the right that decided long ago that tricking us is more effective than persuading us.  For evidence of this, we need to look no further than the mountain of lies told daily by the present administration, the sheer audacity of these lies, and how the lies are immediately picked up and repeated by right wing outlets all over the country.  Ten minutes later, unicorns are real, the sky is purple, and liberals are hiding in the bushes waiting for the opportunity to steal our guns and turn our children gay.  It would be comical if it wasn’t the accepted truth for about a third of the US population.

In the past, there have always been a number of sources of information that have been seen as reliable.  While none are perfect, and absolute truth is a wiggly concept, certain entities have a long history of providing information to the public in deliberate and responsible ways.  For example, our free press has always been evidence of our greatness as a nation; after all, the preamble to the industry’s code of ethics states that “public enlightenment is the forerunner of justice and the foundation of democracy.” It’s a noble goal, and pursuing it sometimes means speaking truth to power.  Sometimes, power doesn’t like that very much:

It’s worth noting that the selection above was taken from a 12-day period in July.  Just 12 days.  There are hundreds of examples of these kinds of references to our free press as a fake, as a fraud, and even as the enemy of the American people.  And while sources like CNN, the New York Times, and the Washington Post are attacked as #fakenews on a daily basis, right wing entities that deny any connection to actual journalism are praised by the White House as solid sources of the right kind of information.  The examples below come from Breitbart, Fox News, and Infowars, all media entities regularly praised by the current administration.  Also, this is only a small sample.  I could go on for days without running out of sheer lunacy to share.

It is also worth noting that the network that claims 9/11 was a false flag operation (InfoWars) has a White House press credential, and the Executive Chairman of Breitbart currently has the ear of the President of the United States, and spent several months as a chief advisor on policy.  This is insanity the likes of which we have never experienced in American public discourse, but here we are.

Similar attacks have been made against academia, science, and government as we used to know it.  All are experiencing, in their own ways, a dismantling at the hands of the current administration and the power structure behind it.  And the replacement for each is the same right wing media mashup that is not only beholden to partisan interests, but also unburdened by any allegiance to truth, or any pretense that truth is even being sought.  Instead, truth is being manufactured, and facts that had been discovered, tested, and applied for generations are now being replaced with alternative facts that have no use beyond their ability to elevate a president to the role of autocrat.

Climate change is a myth, so don’t trust scientists.  The fake news media works for the democrats, so don’t believe them.  Academics are all leftist globalists (whatever that means) so hate them.  It’s all a big lie. The Earth is flat.   It’s a conspiracy.  They’re trying to take away your guns, and your freedom, and your president.  Deny everything, shout it down, and trust in your Dear Leader.

This is how we know things in the Trump era.

It brings to mind a lecture from my undergraduate days.  We were talking about truth, and about God.  The question was “Is truth separate from God?  Does He simply tell us what truth is, like a reporter would, or does He in fact create truth?”  I didn’t know then, and I don’t now, but one thing is for certain:  Trump and his right wing media backers are trying like hell to become the creators of our truth, and succeeding in this endeavor is the only thing that’s going to keep them from going to prison.

Enter Robert Mueller, carrying a briefcase full of indictments and a stack of intelligence evidence taller than even the gaudiest Trump Tower.  His case is made.  Everyone knows it.  Congress knows it.  Trump knows it, and there’s no getting out of it … unless he can convince the entire country that down is up, and that the truth is what he says it is, and nothing else.  He needs us to reject the truth presented by Robert Mueller and his investigation, and replace it with the truth he gives us, one in which he is not only blameless for the attack that placed him in his office, but also in which he has a very good brain, the best words, and a tax plan so freakin’ awesome that everyone is going to be rich a year from now.  It’s bullshit, but it’s consistent bullshit, shoveled by a dedicated contingent of Russian bots and Alt-Right, goose-stepping SS wannabes with keyboards.  And for about one in three of us, this bullshit is actually working.

If the case is weak, attack the case.  If the case is strong, attack the accuser.  If the case is impenetrable, and the accuser unimpeachable … then, attack truth itself.  This is the simplest way to explain what we’re going through right now.  And if Trump succeeds in his assault on the very nature of knowledge itself – if we reject the existence of objective truth and replace it with Trumpkin truth – well, we may never really know anything ever again.

Contributing Editor: Brett Pransky

Brett Pransky is your standard Midwestern English professor, minus the tweed jacket, the bushy beard, and the pipe. When he’s not using his red pen to combat the evils of the comma splice, Brett can be found at his desk, fighting larger injustices and proving to as many people as he can reach that the essay is still the most powerful form of argument in American public discourse. Brett holds degrees in English, Philosophy, Rhetoric, and Business, and while he is terribly uncomfortable talking about himself in the third person, he’s not going to let this keep him from showing everyone that the best way to change the world is to throw clever sentences at it.  Brett can be found on Twitter @BrettPransky.

21 Comments

  • 188bet
    Posted November 13, 2017 5:29 pm 0Likes

    You can even replace your preferred MP3 music with one of these in order that
    even if you are in regards to the gym, you are able to still understand interesting points in the book or listen on the docs from perform that
    you simply must examine. ” It was President Theodore Roosevelt who had given it the category of White House in 1901. The first lesson you should learn together with your online course is how to read chord charts.

  • http://www.linux.net
    Posted November 24, 2017 6:00 am 0Likes

    Ok,? Lee mentioneԀ and then һe stopped and thougһt.
    ?Tһe very best factor about God is ??? hmmmm?????..?
    Ꮋe puzzled as a result of he hhad soo many things that
    have bеen grеat abⲟut God but һe needed to pick the vvery best օne so he would win the game.
    ?Thɑt he knowas everything. That?s actually сool.
    Whiϲh means һe might help mme with my homework.? Larry concluded ith a proud eⲭpression on һiѕ face.

  • yeezy boost 350 v2
    Posted December 31, 2017 5:21 am 0Likes

    I’m commenting to let you be aware of of the remarkable discovery our girl had going through your webblog. She picked up some issues, including what it’s like to possess an excellent helping mindset to let other people very easily learn several tricky issues. You really exceeded our own expected results. Many thanks for rendering such valuable, healthy, explanatory as well as easy tips on your topic to Julie.

  • nike foamposite
    Posted January 1, 2018 9:52 am 0Likes

    I want to express my love for your kindness in support of persons who absolutely need help on in this question. Your personal commitment to passing the solution around came to be exceedingly significant and have always permitted some individuals much like me to achieve their aims. This informative report indicates a lot a person like me and far more to my office workers. With thanks; from everyone of us.

  • adidas nmd r1
    Posted January 1, 2018 2:14 pm 0Likes

    Your place is valueble for me. Thanks!?

  • vibram fivefingers
    Posted January 2, 2018 2:01 pm 0Likes

    I wanted to send a quick comment to say thanks to you for all of the awesome pointers you are sharing at this site. My time intensive internet look up has finally been rewarded with awesome insight to exchange with my relatives. I ‘d claim that most of us site visitors actually are extremely lucky to exist in a wonderful network with many wonderful professionals with good tricks. I feel rather privileged to have seen your website page and look forward to tons of more awesome minutes reading here. Thanks a lot once more for a lot of things.

  • pandora jewelry
    Posted January 3, 2018 9:30 pm 0Likes

    My wife and i were really fulfilled when Chris could round up his investigations while using the precious recommendations he obtained through your site. It is now and again perplexing to just choose to be giving out secrets that many a number of people could have been selling. So we grasp we now have the website owner to appreciate for this. The entire explanations you’ve made, the easy website navigation, the friendships you will help to promote – it’s got all excellent, and it’s really making our son and us reckon that the idea is entertaining, which is extremely essential. Many thanks for everything!

  • yeezys
    Posted January 4, 2018 7:08 am 0Likes

    When I originally commented I clicked the -Notify me when new feedback are added- checkbox and now each time a remark is added I get 4 emails with the identical comment. Is there any way you may remove me from that service? Thanks!

  • cheap jordans
    Posted January 5, 2018 10:40 am 0Likes

    Thank you for your whole efforts on this web site. Kim delights in going through investigations and it’s really simple to grasp why. My spouse and i notice all relating to the dynamic means you make efficient thoughts via this web blog and even invigorate participation from other individuals on this article plus our own child is without a doubt being taught so much. Enjoy the remaining portion of the year. Your doing a superb job.

  • patriots jersey
    Posted January 7, 2018 5:46 am 0Likes

    My husband and i got so glad Albert could deal with his reports while using the precious recommendations he was given from your own blog. It is now and again perplexing to just choose to be giving freely things which often some other people have been making money from. We keep in mind we’ve got you to be grateful to for this. Those illustrations you’ve made, the easy site menu, the friendships you will help to instill – it’s got everything excellent, and it’s helping our son and us consider that the subject matter is amusing, which is certainly seriously fundamental. Thank you for the whole thing!

  • longchamp
    Posted January 8, 2018 12:58 pm 0Likes

    My wife and i were absolutely satisfied Raymond could deal with his basic research from the precious recommendations he had when using the blog. It is now and again perplexing just to possibly be giving out information which some other people have been making money from. And now we fully understand we have the website owner to give thanks to for this. The main explanations you made, the simple web site menu, the relationships you make it possible to foster – it is all exceptional, and it’s really assisting our son and the family recognize that that article is pleasurable, and that’s very essential. Many thanks for the whole lot!

  • adidas ultra boost
    Posted January 8, 2018 4:08 pm 0Likes

    I simply needed to thank you so much once again. I do not know the things I would’ve followed in the absence of those creative ideas shown by you concerning such area of interest. It was an absolute daunting condition in my opinion, however , witnessing the very specialised approach you managed that forced me to cry for contentment. Now i am happier for the work and in addition sincerely hope you are aware of a great job you have been doing instructing the rest using your web page. Most likely you have never encountered any of us.

  • adidas ultra boost
    Posted January 9, 2018 10:25 pm 0Likes

    I enjoy you because of all your efforts on this web page. Debby enjoys setting aside time for internet research and it’s simple to grasp why. Almost all learn all about the dynamic medium you give helpful guides by means of the website and in addition encourage response from the others on that subject matter so our favorite child is undoubtedly being taught a lot. Enjoy the remaining portion of the new year. You’re carrying out a first class job.

  • michael kors outlet
    Posted January 11, 2018 11:02 am 0Likes

    I have to show my gratitude for your kindness for folks that actually need assistance with this content. Your special commitment to getting the solution all over became remarkably useful and have in most cases allowed those just like me to arrive at their aims. This helpful suggestions entails this much a person like me and even more to my peers. Warm regards; from all of us.

  • ultra boost
    Posted January 11, 2018 3:50 pm 0Likes

    I am commenting to make you know of the notable discovery my cousin’s child encountered using the blog. She mastered such a lot of things, which include what it is like to possess a very effective coaching nature to get folks with no trouble comprehend certain hard to do issues. You truly did more than our own expected results. Thank you for churning out these invaluable, healthy, informative and in addition cool tips about this topic to Mary.

  • basketball shoes
    Posted January 12, 2018 5:39 pm 0Likes

    I have to show some thanks to the writer for bailing me out of this issue. After exploring throughout the search engines and finding tricks that were not powerful, I was thinking my entire life was over. Existing devoid of the answers to the problems you have solved by means of your entire website is a serious case, as well as the kind which might have adversely damaged my entire career if I had not noticed your web site. Your own know-how and kindness in touching a lot of things was vital. I’m not sure what I would’ve done if I had not come across such a stuff like this. I can also at this moment look ahead to my future. Thanks a lot so much for this high quality and results-oriented guide. I will not hesitate to propose your blog to anyone who requires tips about this subject.

  • adidas eqt
    Posted January 14, 2018 1:48 am 0Likes

    I actually wanted to construct a brief comment so as to thank you for the awesome secrets you are writing on this site. My long internet search has at the end of the day been honored with high-quality ideas to write about with my friends. I would admit that many of us website visitors are really fortunate to exist in a fantastic community with very many outstanding professionals with interesting things. I feel very much privileged to have encountered your entire web pages and look forward to so many more amazing times reading here. Thanks once again for a lot of things.

  • yeezy boost 350
    Posted January 14, 2018 8:32 am 0Likes

    I simply wanted to compose a note to be able to appreciate you for these stunning tactics you are posting here. My time consuming internet search has at the end been honored with wonderful tips to share with my friends. I would repeat that we visitors are rather endowed to dwell in a fantastic network with many outstanding professionals with beneficial points. I feel truly fortunate to have seen your webpage and look forward to really more excellent moments reading here. Thanks a lot again for all the details.

  • goyard handbags
    Posted January 15, 2018 1:10 pm 0Likes

    I would like to express my thanks to you just for bailing me out of this situation. Right after researching throughout the the net and meeting tricks which were not pleasant, I was thinking my life was over. Being alive minus the approaches to the issues you have fixed through your main blog post is a serious case, as well as ones which may have in a wrong way damaged my entire career if I had not discovered your web blog. The ability and kindness in maneuvering every part was tremendous. I am not sure what I would have done if I hadn’t come across such a subject like this. I can at this moment relish my future. Thanks for your time very much for the expert and sensible guide. I will not be reluctant to recommend the website to any person who should have recommendations about this subject.

  • hermes belt
    Posted January 16, 2018 10:27 pm 0Likes

    I am also commenting to let you be aware of what a magnificent discovery my wife’s child found reading your web page. She mastered so many pieces, including how it is like to possess a very effective coaching character to make men and women smoothly completely grasp various grueling things. You truly exceeded readers’ expectations. Many thanks for displaying such valuable, dependable, edifying not to mention cool guidance on your topic to Janet.

  • adidas nmd
    Posted January 17, 2018 5:04 am 0Likes

    I wish to express my thanks to the writer just for bailing me out of such a predicament. Because of surfing around throughout the search engines and seeing concepts which are not productive, I was thinking my entire life was done. Being alive minus the answers to the problems you’ve sorted out as a result of your entire review is a critical case, as well as the kind that would have in a wrong way affected my entire career if I hadn’t noticed your site. Your own personal capability and kindness in playing with all the stuff was precious. I don’t know what I would have done if I had not discovered such a thing like this. It’s possible to at this moment look ahead to my future. Thanks a lot so much for the expert and sensible guide. I will not be reluctant to refer your web site to any individual who wants and needs care about this matter.

Add Comment