Following Barack Obama’s election as president, there was talk about how the nation had entered a post-racial era, which proved not to be true. Following Donald Trump’s election as president, we have entered a post-truth era, and there’s little doubt about that fact.
We now have slid from “truthiness,” Stephen Colbert’s funny little noun that means “the quality of seeming to be true according to one’s intuition, opinion or perception without regard to logic, factual evidence or the like,” a short distance down a very slippery slope to “post-truth.” The Oxford English Dictionary has selected “post-truth” as its word of the year. It is defined as an adjective relating to circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than emotional appeals.
Its selection follows June’s Brexit vote and the U.S. presidential election.