The Reich book, as I said at the beginning of this series of blog posts, shocked me. I didn’t realize the degree to which we Americans have abandoned the common good. Reich devotes roughly the last third of his text to methods of restoring American devotion to the common good. He emphasizes leadership, shaming the perpetrators of disinformation, resurrecting the truth, and fostering civic education in our schools. While I believe in Reich’s recommendations, I’m concerned that the countervailing tendencies may be too strong.
With President Trump and his supporters telling us that “truth isn’t truth” and that we ought to believe “alternative facts,” our search for factual information—critical to the common good—is impaired. As President Trump told veterans in July, “Just remember, what you are seeing and what you are reading is not what’s happening.”
George Orwell’s 1984 is upon us.