Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Juan Williams: The dangerous erosion of facts

Have you heard the news?
Donald Trump won the national popular vote in the 2016 presidential election.
Fifty-two percent of Republicans say it’s a fact, according to one poll. Forty percent of Trump voters told another poll the same thing.
Reality check: The final vote count showed Hillary Clinton won almost 3 million more votes than Trump.
This is not a matter of opinion, it is statement of fact: knowable, hard, empirical truth. 
Yet about half of Trump voters don’t buy it. 
And there are more jaw-dropping results in polls of GOP voters. 
Among the 52 percent who give Trump the popular vote are 37 percent of college-educated Republicans, according to a Qualtrics poll released last week. 
Sixty-seven percent of Trump voters in a Public Policy Polling survey released earlier this month also believe that unemployment increased during President Obama’s eight years in office. 
In reality, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate when Obama took office in January 2009 was 7.8 percent. In November 2016, it had sunk to 4.6 percent. 
By the way, 39 percent of Trump voters also believe the stock market went down under Obama. In fact, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was around 8,000 when Obama took office in January 2009. Late last week it closed at over 19,900 — on its way to possibly surpassing the 20,000 mark before the end of the year. 
Let’s agree on one fact: Donald Trump upended the political world with his win.
But that incredible upset left an incredible hangover. The facts of political life are now subject to partisan interpretation. Read full article here 

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