Esquire Reports: Is there such a thing as truth? The past 18 months posed this seemingly absurd question. It’s not whether something Donald Trump says is true, but about whether anyone even cares. Trump’s campaign made a bet that enough voters didn’t (or couldn’t) tell the difference in a deluge of information, and that bet paid off. Trump won the most important election in decades. His surrogate Scott Nell Hughes explicitly confirmed that whole strategy yesterday.
Hughes joined The Diane Rehm Show to discuss the media’s role in covering the Trump administration. If the campaign and transition are anything to go on, Trump’s White House will not overly concern itself with reality. The whole segment is here, but another member of the panel, The Atlantic‘s James Fallows, flagged one particular moment of the conversation. Around the 14-minute mark, Hughes illustrated a defining principle of Trumpism: There’s no longer such thing as fact, because anything is true if enough people believe it.
“Well, I think it’s also an idea of an opinion. And that’s—on one hand, I hear half the media saying that these are lies. But on the other half, there are many people that go, ‘No, it’s true.’ And so one thing that has been interesting this entire campaign season to watch, is that people that say facts are facts—they’re not really facts. Everybody has a way—it’s kind of like looking at ratings, or looking at a glass of half-full water. Everybody has a way of interpreting them to be the truth, or not truth. There’s no such thing, unfortunately, anymore as facts.