My mother's cousin, when we visited him pre-inauguration, was a very well-intentioned Trump supporter-a foster parent devoted to carefully articulated sarcasm and Sunday potlucks. His son shared his passionate support of Florida sports teams and the elected president. We did not talk about politics, the divisive subject misplaced in dialogue between family that had spent years apart. The sports rivalry was more pertinent, less transient, a staple of our reunions. Shielding fragile conversation, we don't prod for the information that shapes his viewpoints.
We may have even naively assumed our raw source material was the same, concluding that we had just resonated with different solutions.
Now, as the president and his administration dictate coverage of pretend events and analyze fabricated statistics to massive audiences, we must all engage diligently with well-researched reporting. We must also hope that the public does the same, but the campaign culture that has transcended its temporality makes blind allegiance, by some, to the word of the president seem possible, if not probable. The president advocates for a distrust of the media, working to destroy its credibility amongst certain sects of the public. An informed skepticism of the media replaced by blasts of its absurdity.
Investigative and honest insight into the government is imperative to an accountable democracy. Transparency of executive action will come from adversary media, which we cannot guarantee to be taken seriously anyone who might be trusting only Trump-approved sources. Information, today, acts as currency, and withholding it allows the proprietor dangerous amounts of freedom from public accountability.
Haphazard deception from such powerful figures creates a disillusionment with the truth that makes subjectivity and objectivity harder to discern from one another. Critique of information sources will be a vital form of citizenship in the coming years, independent of what you believe and what you believe in.