At the center of any republic is the idea that the center-Left and the center-Right can agree on our sources of information. The notion of “fake news,” which is really just old fashion propaganda re-purposed for a modern age, is so corrosive and destructive because is makes it so we can’t agree on our sources of information.
While I try to engage as best I can with people who disagree with me, if you call The New York Times “fake news,” I really see no need to continue to talk to you. You are not being intellectually honest. If you rely solely upon the Right Wing bullshit echo chamber for you new and see that as “real news,” then there really isn’t much point in us discussing anything political.
Thus, fake news strikes at the heart of political debate. If I say Donald Trump is a racist and use to back up my point news from The New York Times and you think The New York Times is fake news, it takes a lot for me not to tell you to just fuck off.
That’s not what I should do at all. I should press the person to engage me more, but it’s difficult. When someone is so delusional that they think a publication as prestigious as The New York Times is “fake news,” I honestly don’t know what to say.
That, really, is why this New Normal of Trumplandia of so horrible. The damage of Trump to the republic may be significantly more long-lasting that any of us dare imagine.