November 9, 2016. After I picked myself up off the metaphoric floor, took a shower and changed from p.j.s to clothing, I began to contemplate life and reality — you know, all that big stuff.
There were some questions to contemplate: What just happened? How did it happen? Why did it happen? Didn’t need to add “where” and “when” or even “who.” The election had answered those questions.
So what had happened and how? Fewer than 80,000 voters spread over three states had voted for Trump.
The “why” required more contemplation, more collecting facts from the news.
What I learned: fake news — propagated by forces that are enemies of democracy — had been poured into social media with the inarguable purpose of influencing American voters not to vote for Hillary and to vote for Trump. Or, at the least, to cause us all to so distrust and fear each other, it would seem to the rest of the world as if our country were collapsing into anarchy.
Now right there, right up in that short paragraph, I’m sounding either shockingly naive or pretty stupid. If all that garbage was out there, why hadn’t I seen it? No way was it going to influence my vote, but WHY HADN’T I SEEN IT? Because, aside from a few nonsensical shreds I’d mentally discarded immediately, I hadn’t. I hadn’t seen it.
I hadn’t been a fool for fakery because over my lifetime I had priceless lessons in getting facts. Sharing those lessons was my purpose in writing How I Learned The Facts of Life.
I wrote the book in two parts. Since Part One is The Facts of Life, there had to be a Part Two. So, for that second part, I delved into The Fakes of Life. It was a fairly nauseating, disturbing and even horror-movie quality trip.
In the course of wading around in this cesspool (or swamp, if you prefer), I discovered some odd patterns in the ugly application of fakery, one involving false accusations of pedophilia. I learned about a number of scientific research studies which offered pretty persuasive explanations for why many people would vote for Trump.
But I also discovered why I — and millions of people like me — had been and will continue to be immune to falsehoods, rumors, scandals, and muck-throwing.
The subtitle of the book is Real news vs. fake news in a time of plague, injustice, gobsmacking trumpery…and whatever comes next.
Because something will.