Mother Jones writer Denise Clifton reports that the RAND Corporation has authored a study about a phenomenon that it calls “truth decay,” which it says is defined by four trends: “An increasing disagreement about facts and analytical interpretations of facts and data; a blurring of the line between opinion and fact; an increase in the relative volume, and resulting influence, of opinion and personal experience over fact; and lowered trust in formerly respected sources of factual information.”
As Clifton documents, this “firehose of falsehoods” has dire consequences for democracy because people can’t agree on even basic facts of the problems they’re trying to address.
In particular, she notes that the RAND report documents how this phenomenon leads to a government that cannot compromise or come to any common solutions whatsoever.
“RAND’s report concludes that this is a road to political paralysis, pointing out that the percentage of proposed bills that have been enacted in Congress have fallen consistently since 2003; even in a Republican-controlled Congress, the House failed twice in June to pass bills on immigration,” she writes. “In this environment, attempts at compromise routinely fail.”