Can We Come Back Together as a Nation?
Just in the last few days, a new survey was reported showing that 78% of Republicans believe the utter nonsense that there was massive fraud in the 2020 election of Joe Biden. This is mind boggling, as there is absolutely no evidence for this. Yet, President Trump, major news organizations, and many high-ranking elected officials are actively perpetuating the falsehood that the election was stolen by Democrats through mythical massive fraud.
You have to ask yourself, “Why would they keep this up?” Certainly, the irony should not escape you that the guy who is constantly talking about hoaxes and fake news is the biggest generator of such.
It’s not like Republicans are the only ones being duped by mass delusion. For example, Trump’s foreign policy is not de facto bad. You could argue he has had successes, as here.
This all intrigues me because almost two decades ago I wrote a book and a couple of articles about the growing malaise in public discourse and how we might counteract it.
- Is Modern Information Technology Enabling the Evolution of a More Direct Democracy?
- Revitalizing the Public Sphere: The Current System of Discourse and the Need for the Participative Design of Social Action
Sadly, the malaise has indeed increased, while the potential for Internet to facilitate positive public dialogue seems to have gone nowhere. I am not alone in this, as it turns out, American seem to see this and thankfully have hope that something can be done about it. As reported in Pew Research,
“But both sides agree on the poor state of public discourse in this country. Large majorities complain that the tone and nature of political debate in the country has become more negative (85 percent), less respectful (85 percent), and less fact-based (76 percent) over the past several years. And 6 in 10 say that discourse has been less focused on issues than in the past.”
[Americans] “remain optimistic that the challenges can be addressed. Fully 84 percent think that trust in government can be improved. And 86 percent believe it is possible to improve trust in each other.”
So what’s the situation now? Can we have a positive public discourse on the Web? Is there some kind of way to for the web to facilitate this rather than make it worse?
One thing as a quick side note, if the iron-clad proven fact that Joe Biden won fair and square is news to you, please check this article and the fact that Fox News had to retract its fraud allegations after being threatened with a lawsuit.
If those aren't clear enough, then feel free to explain your reasoning in the comments.
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