In November the Oxford English Dictionary named, “post-truth” its word of year. Post-truth is defined as, “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.” The term post-truth along with the phrase ‘low information voter’ have gained popularity post Brexit and Donald Trump’s victory in the US Presidential election. This has led many in the Twitterati to quote John Maynard Keynes stating, “when the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, Sir?” Out of this has come the assumption that there are two types of people, those who believe in ‘facts’ and those who are led by the their emotions (low-information voters). However, few have asked, What are facts? How reliable are they? Or even, should facts be the primary basis of political decision making?
The simplest definition of a fact is: … Read the rest