The Guardian treats us to three different Very Serious People telling us that Trump signifies some new and daring departure from the norms and standards of politics. We are into 1984 territory here, George Orwell all over again, post truth politics.
This is, you will not be astonished to find, a regular meme across much of the press. The same newspaper, The G, also has Simon Jenkins telling it like it is:
Of all golden-age fallacies, none is dafter than that there was a time when politicians purveyed unvarnished truth. As Private Eye’s Ian Hislop said in his recent Orwell lecture, suppressing truth and suggesting falsehood have been leitmotifs of politics since time began. Leaders of all sorts have used censorship to grind some personal axe, to deny George Orwell’s core principle of free speech, “the right to tell people what they do not want to hear”.
Falsity, whether about the past or the future, is the raw material from which politicians seek to fashion their personal narratives.
As examples, think of the constant wailing about increasing poverty in the UK - we do not have any poverty in the UK, we beat that in the 1930s. We have inequality of income, we most certainly do, but no poverty. Similarly, think of the claims of increasing global inequality - a flat untruth, global inequality is falling, not growing.
Or the claims that wealth or income distributions are returning to Victorian levels - nonsense, this is without counting what we do to reduce income and wealth inequality.
More specifically Hillary said that she would add not one penny to the national debt. Given that she was not going to (she said she wouldn't) close the $500 billion a year budget deficit this was a flat out lie.
Or at the grander end of the scale, those who state that the IPCC and climate change show we must radically change the entire structure of society. When actually, the IPCC itself says that all we need is a non-fossil fuel powered society (all!) and we'll be fine.
Or perhaps one close to our hearts here, the claim that a financial transactions tax will raise billions, hundreds of billions, with which we can.... when as has been conclusively proven an FTT would lose revenue overall, not increase it. Another close to us here, that tax avoidance costs the Treasury some huge amount and if only we could....but tax avoidance costs the Treasury nothing as that is tax which is not due.
We seem therefore to have described most of the Guardian's comment pages of recent years as being post truth. Or, as we might also put it, lies.
As Jenkins points out there is nothing new about this whatsoever, the difference is who and what not the process.
And let's be honest about this which would you prefer? Someone misspeaking about how many people watched him put his hand on a Holy Book or someone outright lying about the necessity of abolishing industrial capitalism so that we all have to return to medieval penury?
Wasn't there something in that Holy Book about motes and beams?