America's parallel universes

How Donald Trump's feelings triumphed over the media's facts

Trump and Trumpland.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Newt Gingrich observed recently that American politics are now divided into "parallel universes," with each side fiercely competing for the right to make their reality true. In one universe, facts are relevant. In the other, feelings trump all.

The presidential election was a referendum on this theory of American politics. It turns out Newt was right. America just elected as her leader a man who wondered aloud whether, as president, he could start a super PAC to punish his enemies. A man caught on tape saying he could grab women by the genitals if he felt like it, who also said (on tape and on purpose) that he could shoot someone and his supporters would remain loyal. A man whose lies were constant, extensive, falsifiable, well-documented, competently reported on, and cleanly debunked — and who nevertheless managed to convince the electorate to regard his opponent as "the liar," just as he convinced many, some years ago, to regard President Obama as a Kenyan Muslim.

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