We live in very dangerous times in America. I have recently read several articles that state we are living in a post-truth society. In effect this means that the facts and truth don't matter anymore. This is the same theme addressed in Chris Hedges' 2008 book, "Empire of Illusion," which essentially states that many Americans are so poorly educated they can't tell the difference between fiction and reality anymore.
This should frighten everyone, because in a post-truth society you can get anyone to believe anything. We have reached a stage where news consumers on the right will believe anything their trusted sources, outlets like FOX News, tell them. It doesn't matter if it's real or not. As long as it's coming from FOX, or any other right-wing outlet, it's considered to be true. And the scary thing about the talking heads on FOX is that many of them know that the things they are saying, like President Barack Obama is an America-hating, communist, Muslim, are not true. But it doesn't matter, there audience is so gullible they will believe anything thrown at them.
This is how you can have people like Hank Williams Jr. stand up in front of an audience and call the president a "Muslim," this is why many on the right blame Obama for the bank bailout, even though it happened under President George W. Bush and that is why a recent poll stated that 15 percent of Ohio Republicans credited Mitt Romney for the killing of Osama Bin Laden. It should be noted that Romney has never held a national executive position, and Obama was in charge when Bin Laden was killed. In fact, many Republicans still credit President Bush for the death of Osama Bin Laden, even though Bush admitted that he really didn't care where Bin Laden was and disbanded the CIA unit that was designated to track him down.
This is also why Dinesh D'Souza's widely-discredited movie, "2016: Obama's America," is being taken seriously by some Republicans. The movie is based on D'Souza's error-ridden book, "The Roots of Obama's Rage." By the way, although D'Souza claims that Obama is an angry anti-colonialist, he has never actually met the president.
How can people believe these outrageous lies you ask? It goes back to that whole post-truth thing. The truth doesn't matter anymore. Facts have become subjective. People on the right have their own sources and they will believe them to their dying day. If you try and engage them in a debate and point out their errors, they simply say that your facts are from the biased liberal media.
The post-truth reality has been also encouraged by use of the same type of propaganda techniques as were used in Nazi Germany. To paraphrase a famous Nazi quote, "If you repeat a lie often enough, eventually it becomes the truth."
One of the central causes of this post-truth reality is an inability to sort through information and differentiate real news from spin and propaganda. Of course an attitude where you accept all you are presented as the truth is essential to keep an ignorant and docile population clueless. So is it any wonder that the Texas GOP recently criticized the teaching of "critical thinking skills?"
As we go into the final stretch of the election season, I can only hope that there are enough Americans who can see through the often murky news world, and get the real facts.
In the end Mitt Romney will lose because the people on the right are not getting the real truth. They are relying on the right-wing media, who tell them that it's sunny outside, when it's really pouring down.
However the truth might be finally seeping through, although it's too late. The right-wing media seems to have finally realized that they have a lemon of a candidate in Mitt Romney. New Yorker columnist Frank Rich said after a week of surveying the right-wing media, he found many pundits in despair about their party's chances.
If the right-wing media had done its job, and warned its followers of the dangers of Mitt Romney, they might not be in the situation. The truth hurts, but sometimes it's necessary.