Tuesday 21 February 2017

Political dangers of letting claptrap win over facts

We live in a world where spin has replaced the truth for many - and we don't seem to care, writes Carol Hunt

Published 19/06/2016 | 02:30

Trump: Highly emotive, but short on facts. Photo: AP
Trump: Highly emotive, but short on facts. Photo: AP

'When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?" is a well known quote attributed to economist John Maynard Keynes.

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It's meant to point up the absurdity of clinging on to beliefs after they have been proven factually wrong. We can hold as many contradictory opinions as we wish, but facts are sacred. We all know that knowledge is power and that education leads to enlightenment and clear thinking.

We know that an informed citizenry is preferable to an ignorant one and as believers in the democratic process we know that, as Thomas Jefferson wrote in 1789, "whenever the people are well informed, they can be trusted with their own government".

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