Many of the things that get a lot of attention during the Trump presidency are not very consequential. But one significant result of the current dynamic in American politics may be a lasting divide over what is the truth.
During his business career, Donald Trump demonstrated a pattern of portraying his own version of events, no matter how unrealistic and unbelievable it was. That has only escalated during his presidency. Trump chooses what to believe and what not to believe entirely on how it serves his own purposes.
If the FBI is investigating Hillary Clinton, it’s evidence of a crime. But if they are investigating anyone associated with him, it’s fake news. If security agencies raise concerns about Russian interference in the 2016 election, he doesn’t believe them. But if Vladimir Putin says Russia did no such thing, he takes him at his word. It’s one thing if a delusional president warps reality to conform to his own desires, but it’s quite another when millions of people accept it as fact, despite the evidence to the contrary. Sadly, that may be one of the most lasting and damaging effects of the Trump era.