Alternative facts: Trump’s mad cows | In English | EL PAÍS

America’s political world has been russified. Half of the population now feels it is irrelevant whether the statements coming out of the executive are a lie or not. They have abandoned reason to embrace faith, and like cattle on their way to the slaughterhouse, they are happy to let themselves be fooled by the president and his buddies. Masha Gessen, a journalist who was born in Russia, wrote in The New York Review of Books: “Lying is the message. It’s not just that both Putin and Trump lie, it is that they lie in the same way and for the same purpose: blatantly, to assert power over truth itself.”Combat lineWhat to do? Unlike Russia, the US fortunately does have institutional antibodies, among which are Congress, judges and the press, which is already smelling a new Watergate. France and Germany have similar defense mechanisms, and they have taken pre-electoral care to set up systems to neutralize Russia’s already visible misinformation cyber campaign.But Trump has already won in the US; half the country has been infected by the virus of “alternative facts,” to use the curiously candid definition provided by the counselor and ex-campaign manager for Trump, Kellyanne Conway. The time has come to fight, to prevent the disease that has already corroded so many brains from migrating to the marrow of the political system.America’s so-called traditional press is on the front line of the battle. That is why, in one of his infamous tweets, the nation’s commander, troller-in-chief and serial liar identified The New York Times, NBC, ABC, CBS, CNN and others as “the enemies of the American people.” The battle is on. What’s at stake is the democracy of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, both of whom were real presidents. Donald Trump is not. He’s not even a rabbit. He’s a mad cow.

Source: Alternative facts: Trump’s mad cows | In English | EL PAÍS