In the weeks following the 2016 elections many have been blaming numerous factors for the outcome that occurred with a Donald Trump victory. Some of the blame has been directed towards the Post-Truth Era, essentially representing a cultural shift away from holding objective facts as truth in exchange for personal emotional and opinionated thoughts. Others have expanded from this idea and blame what is now being called "fake news". This line of thinking has a McCarthyistic doublespeak involved in which the term "fake news" can be branded upon any dissent or alternative viewpoints. It becomes contradictory to its initial purpose of illuminating the public to the actions of certain businesses and websites taking advantage of "news" being distributed via social media; resulting in the perpetuation of falsehoods, deception, and completely made up headlines, articles, and "News reports".
While both recognizing the Post-Truth Era and "Fake News" represent a major fault in our civilization, we must recognize that a void exists in our society that are frames from open philosophical discussion and debate. Basic philosophical comprehension by the masses would eliminate large examples of "fake news". It would also remove the entire Post-Truth concept. Post-Truth is a metaphorical doublespeak term for describing the point in time in which the masses of society took their own emotional subjective experience and perception as a greater truth than objective reality. In the philosophical studies this breaks one of the most fundamental rules, that a priori thinking and comprehension operates fundamentally on objective facts and objective truths about the nature of reality and the laws that govern it. The repercussions of Post-Truth and "fake news" results also in the limiting of actual discussion in an effort towards decision-making, in exchange for impulsive emotional reactionary thinking.The act of having a mature, detailed, honest open discussion over topics of culture and civilization is a cornerstone of the principles of the United States. The US was born in the Age of Enlightenment, of an era of philosophical peoples. The government model of the Constitution had been created when a group of extremely diverse, and at times opposing, view points; locked in a room in the summer with no AC and wearing incredibly elaborate wool clothing. Those extremely irritated, uncomfortable, tensed individuals were able to openly debate, argue, and agree in compromise. If those individuals under such conditions were able to have a mature conversation, so too can people over the Internet. Social media can be used as a tool of learning, debating, and enlightening. Automatically assuming a discussion over politics, economics, religion, etc. is an argument degrades that philosophical debate and leads to ignorance, superstition, and delusion forming and expanding. One must comprehend that the ideas they hold are their inheritance, not their creation. It is a natural growing process in the human organism to grow philosophically and mentally; and intellectually mature to face the state of reality as it exists, and how best this subjective individual can play a role in that objective reality.
Philosophy and philosophical discussion birthed the United States as an nation, as a social collective; as a civilization. The first amendment was designed to protect free assembly and free speech as a means of ensuring that such needed debate capabilities will always be available for our society. We as a society and civilization have to mature and accept that intellectual thought is not one that can be pushed off and self-censored from public decisions with friends and strangers alike. Rejecting the chance and opportunity to have a legitimate mature conversation in exchange for personal preference of closed private conversation results in the antithetical breakdown of that fundamental and philosophical component to our society.
George Washington wrote in 1783 about the philosophical foundation of the United States. Let us remember these words as we attempt to revitalize the philosophical nature of the United States of America:
"The foundation of our Empire was not laid in the gloomy age of Ignorance and Superstition, but at an Epocha when the rights of mankind were better understood and more clearly defined, than at any former period, the researches of the human mind, after social happiness, have been carried to a great extent, the Treasures of knowledge, acquired by the labours of Philosophers, Sages and Legislatures, through a long succession of years, are laid open for our use, and their collected wisdom may be happily applied in the Establishment of our forms of Government; the free cultivation of Letters, the unbounded extension of Commerce, the progressive refinement of Manners, the growing liberality of sentiment, and above all, the pure and benign light of Revelation, have had a meliorating influence on mankind and increased the blessings of Society. At this auspicious period, the United States came into existence as a Nation, and if their Citizens should not be completely free and happy, the fault will be intirely their own."