June 4, 2017

Sina-cism: The word on Trumpian truths from Assumption College

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Flickr / Evan Guest

President Trump

As Weiner (himself a former newspaper reporter) notes, “It is the media’s discomfort with objective truth that disqualifies it from being believed when it calls Trump on his violations of objective truth now.”
Chris Sinacola

Chris Sinacola

The Spring 2017 issue of National Affairs contains a thought-provoking essay by Greg Weiner, assistant professor of political science at Worcester’s Assumption College, titled “Trump and Truth.”

Weiner lays out, in carefully reasoned prose, exactly why our current president’s difficulties with the truth matter.

His point is not — or not exclusively, anyway — to take issue with this policy or that pronouncement by the 44th occupant of the White House [Grover Cleveland, remember, served as president twice in nonconsecutive terms.]. I am sure that Weiner, like any thinking American (including many who cast ballots for Trump) has a qualm or two (or many) regarding the man’s comportment.

Anti-Trump screeds being as common as inane Twitter posts, however, Weiner wisely takes another, more interesting path. He returns to several touchstone authors of our Western culture — Aristotle, Thucydides, Madison and Orwell among them — to explore the fate of “logos.”

Or, to put it more plainly, the word. Language. And, by extension, political discourse and meaning in present-day America.

You may have guessed that Weiner concludes that language and meaning matter. The interesting part is how he gets there, and the stops along the way.

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