The Abandonment of Truth and Science

One of the most unfortunate consequences of Donald Trump’s presidency is that the government has now done an about-face and turned its back on both truth and science.           

Time magazine’s recent cover story—”Is Truth Dead?”—documents how alternative facts have replaced the truth in Trump’s administration. Equally alarming is the president’s willingness to embrace politically expedient accusations that emanate not from reality but from sources that deal in baseless conspiracy theories. 

One of his favorite sources, whose theories he regurgitates at an alarming rate, is Alex Jones. Mr. Jones is the host of a popular radio show and through the internet is able to reach millions of homes. His lunacy knows no bounds. For example, he has proposed (without a scintilla of evidence):

Sign Up for E-News

1. The Clintons are murderers (23 bodies and counting).

2. Hillary Clinton is a witch who is responsible for the Dallas shootings.

3. Justice Antonin Scalia was murdered.

4. Orlando, Sandy Hook, Boston, Brussels, etc., were staged.

5. The government has a “weather weapon” that “can create and steer groups of tornadoes.”

6. Hillary Clinton is running a child sex ring out of a pizza shop.

All of these “claims” reached a large portion of the voting public and, for many, it fell into their political wheelhouse, which made it easy to accept at face value. Often such unbridled acceptance had devastating consequences. For example, a man from North Carolina was so enraged by one of Jones’ outrageous stories that he got in his car and traveled to the pizza shop that Jones had claimed was running a Hillary Clinton-controlled “child sex ring.” Although he shot into the shop, he luckily missed the owner. All the owner was doing was selling pizza. Jones has since apologized.

Unfortunately, the propagation of false information does not bode well for the future of our republic. For democracy to work, we must have an informed public. The majority of citizens now receive their news from computers and phones, not newspapers and television. The problem is that the internet has no filter and is easily manipulated. Since most of us grew up reading and listening to news stories from reputable organizations, we carry with us a presumption that what we read must have some measure of credibility. That supposition has no place when judging stories on the internet.

The internet is akin to the Wild West when it comes to information. For example, the Russians are said to have dedicated over 1,000 hackers during our last election cycle to overwhelm our computers, tablets and phones with bogus stories designed to promote Donald Trump and destroy Hillary Clinton. It worked. For example, several people relying on a false story told me that they thought Mrs. Clinton had Parkinson’s disease and could never serve out an entire term. Less believed but still out there was the bizarre story that claimed that she had an alien baby. One would hope that most viewers had the good sense to reject that one.

Concurrent with Trump’s aversion to the truth is his rejection of science. This is especially sad since, as we age, it becomes virtually impossible for us or our families and friends to avoid the ravages of a whole host of terrible maladies. Rich and poor, young and old, powerful and powerless—cancer, Alzheimer’s, leukemia and other horrendous diseases do not discriminate. They attack us all. Science has made strides over my lifetime and my assumption was that regardless of our political stripes, we as a society would continue to allocate the necessary resources to stamp out most of these diseases at least during our children’s lifetime. I was wrong.

President Trump, contradicting his own words to Congress to find “cures to illnesses that have always plagued us,” has proposed massive cuts in research. He has also put a muzzle on any scientific findings by the E.P.A. The very nature of a scientific inquiry, which seeks results irrespective of politics, is therefore undermined. All findings must pass a political litmus test, which makes the whole process suspect.

Also troubling are the massive cuts in health programs. Mary Woodley, president of a not-for-profit group promoting research, had this to say about Trump’s budget: “It doesn’t reflect the priorities of a nation committed to protecting and improving the health and well-being of its citizens.”

What Mr. Trump fails to understand in his shortsighted and potentially deadly agenda is that it is our innovative spirit that has always made America great. Peter Thiel, a Trump supporter but also a believer in American know-how, put the myopic nature of the Trump agenda in perspective: “Voters are tired of hearing conservative politicians say that government never works. They know the government wasn’t always this broken. The Manhattan Project, the Interstate Highway System, and the Apollo program—whatever you think of these ventures—you cannot doubt the competence of the government that got them done. But we have fallen very far from that standard, and we cannot let free-market ideology serve as an excuse for the decline.”

Is it too much to ask our elected representatives to stand up for the truth and for continued research, if not for us but for future generations?

I think not.

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of TAPinto.net or anyone who works for TAPinto.net. TAPinto.net is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Yorktown

Here's What You Missed Last Week

Last week, the Daily News ran a headline, “When is our father coming home?” This dealt with a person here illegally, married to an American woman with a family, who was arrested at an Army base while delivering pizza. You are supposed to think that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), under Trump, is tearing families apart. As usual, it was a crock of cow pies. It was ...

Remembering Bobby Kennedy

I’m not the type of person who is prone to hero worship. Witnessing people screaming hysterically during rock concerts never sat well with me. Yes, I did see many a great group (the Rolling Stones, Simon & Garfunkel, the Who, the Doors), yet my demeanor was always one reflecting inner peace rather than extreme exuberance.

I was offered tickets to Woodstock (yes, originally you needed ...

Competing—Against Yourself

This is the time of year when students are recognized at public ceremonies for notable achievements in their studies, their sports and in their extracurricular pursuits.

Where we live, there are awards in various sports that are named for our son, who also is memorialized by town ballfield Harrison Apar Field of Dreams and a charitable foundation of the same name.

Due to a rare dwarfism, ...

I Come from the Land Down Under

I know this is a family column, so I’m going to put this in as delicate terms as possible.

This morning I woke up and I knew, as sure as the sun shines over Bora Bora, that something was very, very wrong in that place in my body where the Bora Bora sun doesn’t shine.

It’s that place I used to refer to my daughter as her hoo-hoo. But it certainly wasn’t a happy ...

Andy’s at It Again

June 13, 2018

A couple of years ago, I wrote to question why Andy wasn’t citing his sources when he flings dirt at any Democrat he wants to malign.

Well, he’s at it again. In the latest iteration, he tells us that Obama was responsible for putting a spy in the Trump campaign. He then repeats himself three more times to emphasize his point, but gives no proof or evidence to back up the ...

Yorktown Youth Soccer Club Results

June 15, 2018

Sunday, June 10  - The Yorktown Crew clinched the Westchester Youth Soccer League JV-1 Division with a 4-3 win over Rivertown FC on Sunday. The team has been on a remarkable run for the past 2 seasons with a team record of 16-1-1. Sunday’s matchup vs Rivertown had a championship like atmosphere as Rivertown trailed Yorktown by 1 point in the standings. The Crew worked hard all week in ...