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How Truth Survived 2019

Summary:
The "truthiness" of US President Donald Trump and other world leaders cast a dark shadow over public life in 2019, and probably will continue to do so next year. But fortunately for those who care about both democracy and the planet, the actual truth remains a powerful force. LONDON – “Truthiness,” a concept coined by the American comedian Stephen Colbert, involves saying things that you want to believe are true even if there is no factual evidence to support these assertions. And without doubt, truthiness has had a great run in 2019 – from US President Donald Trump’s Washington, to the Brexit campaign in the United Kingdom, to events in Asia. How Truth Survived 2019 Isaac Lawrence/AFP

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The "truthiness" of US President Donald Trump and other world leaders cast a dark shadow over public life in 2019, and probably will continue to do so next year. But fortunately for those who care about both democracy and the planet, the actual truth remains a powerful force.

LONDON – “Truthiness,” a concept coined by the American comedian Stephen Colbert, involves saying things that you want to believe are true even if there is no factual evidence to support these assertions. And without doubt, truthiness has had a great run in 2019 – from US President Donald Trump’s Washington, to the Brexit campaign in the United Kingdom, to events in Asia.

This disturbing trend was partly reflected in Time magazine’s choice of candidates for its 2019 Person of the Year. The shortlist of five included Trump, who, although he did not win the prize of seeing his picture on Time’s cover, exemplifies the political triumph of today’s ubiquitous mendacity. In the opposite corner were two other candidates: the whistleblower who exposed Trump’s attempt to...

Chris Patten
Associate Director of Design Thinking, Henry Ford Learning Institute. I use design to make complex issues more tangible and build empathy among stakeholders.

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