Previously known as lies, alternative facts have become widely popular throughout the United States in lieu of the recent presidential election.
Although they are both undoubtedly lies, Alternative facts differ from typical lies by the addition of gaslighting the listener. The phrase “alternative facts” was coined by U.S. Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway during a Meet the Press interview on January 22, 2017, in which she defended White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer’s false statement about the attendance at Donald Trump’s inauguration as President of the United States.
Viral fake news have spread alternative facts like wildfire. The national expansion of these lies and their instantaneous acceptance has shown how easily residents of the U.S. are influenced by the politicians in power. In a way, alternative facts have shed light on the unfortunately mindless state that a large percentage of Americans have fallen into because of technological advances, which inadvertently lead to slothfulness. Search engines such as Google or Yahoo have allowed for easy access to need-to-know information at any time, on any day, and out of sheer convenience, the information those search engines display are rarely fact checked before being taken and shared with the assumption of veracity.
Alternative facts are not only affecting our nation’s citizens, they are also devaluing the hard work of scientists worldwide. Many scientists worry their hard-won re
search findings, on issues such as climate change and childhood vaccinations, have lost sway with politicians and the public, and feel their reputability is under attack. Trump’s administration has thus far been widely known for their skepticism of most scientific claims.
According to theguardian.com, an example of alternative facts would be if someone shared a picture of a horse with their friend, but insisted the horse was actually a spaceship. Imagine that same person justified the picture of the “spaceship” by describing its four launching pads, two cockpits at the front, and its lovely shiny mane. At this point, any logical person might argue that spaceships don’t have manes. To this, the friend who believes the horse to be a spaceship might argue that all the spaceships they have seen have, in fact, had manes, which is not a lie per se, it is simply an alternative fact. Alternative facts pertain to an individual’s belief of what they find to be true and are used to justify the individual’s decision to remain incompetent and uneducated.
By Sequoia Green