Since the invention of “Alternative Facts” in the first days of the Trump administration, when Kellyanne Conway used it to defend Sean Spicer’s count of the inaugural crowd size, we have seen our democracy threatened from the inside. Today, Trump uses the bully pulpit of the presidency to spew known falsehoods and divert attention from the truth instead of seeking the truth.
Now truth be told, politicians have lied and spewed falsehoods throughout history. What makes this different today is the use of social media to control the message and “Alternative Truths.” This is a direct threat to our way of life as we know it. There is only one truth… but politicians continue to weave and spin infinite lies; thereby drowning out the truth.
Our President has done an excellent job weaponizing disinformation. And, the same platforms used to market products and services have now been mastered by politicians. This all began from the learning achieved during the Cambridge Analytica days… as displayed in the movie – “The Great Hack.” Today politicians can scale lies at unprecedented speeds.
As a marketing strategist we know the more you repeat your message, the more people become aware of it. The more they are aware of it, the more they believe it to be fact and truth. Advertisers use erroneous or unfounded claims all the time to support their position and build their brand. These marketing falsehoods are regulated, but our political falsehoods are not. Brand falsehoods cause very limited damage to people – if a product does not live up to expectation, eventually the brand or product suffers.
Because today, there is no longer the one truth. And when a cacophony of lies is built around a subject, the American public begins feeling like there is no such thing as truth. Today, this “Lack of Truth” is further perpetuated by the fact that the Senate does not want to uncover the truth in the current impeachment hearings. They want to control the narrative and only promote their truth.
So what can we do about it?
- Teach civics again. Most Americans have no idea of what their responsibility is as an American. And one of them is to understand history and our constitution. We need a public service campaign that teaches Americans Civics, just like the seatbelt or stop drugs/smoking programs that have been so effective!
- American’s must ask for the PROOF and FACTS. Assume nothing is true until you see corroboration.
- The news media must shift from being first with the news to be factual with complete transparency providing proven information supporting their news.
- In addition, the news media should stop running the “Sound Bits” our president wants and controls so well.
- “Fake News”
- It is amazing to hear people spew falsehoods they hear on the news! Call them out when they do! But do it respectfully and with the facts to support your position. Just like we do in a court of law.
The Truth Shall Set Us Free
I believe that there is truly only one truth in every situation. I make sure our clients are always positioned and support the truth of their brands. We may interpret the truth differently but there is only one set of facts that make up the truth. I am not a religious man, but “The Truth Shall Set Us Free.”