On the Question of Truth in the Era of Trump

Using a range of critical perspectives, On the Question of Truth in the Era of Trump closely examines notions of “truth in crisis” leading up to and after the election of Donald Trump. The authors explore how truth is constructed along the lines of race, social class, and gender as filtered through the self-referential characteristics of social media in particular. The authors assert that the US left has shown itself inadequate to the task of confronting right wing ideologies, which have only intensified since the 2016 election, resulting in increased mobilization of white supremacist and nationalist groups.

Whether underestimating Trump by downplaying the threat of his candidacy during the primaries, trivializing the concerns of women and minorities as “identity politics,” or rushing to prioritize the free speech rights of the far-right, left academics and the media have found themselves unable to use their traditional arsenal of evidence, rational discourse, and appeals to diversity of viewpoints.

The authors assert that political resistance to the right is not a matter of playful use of signs and symbols or discourse alone and has to be fought directly and in solidarity. At this point, it is clear that Trump and his supporters have not just deployed relativism as a form of strategy, but have fully weaponized it against their perceived enemies: women, immigrants, minorities, LGBTQ people along with educational, scientific, and journalistic institutions. It is hoped that this in-depth, critical dissection of truth in the current political reality will assist in the project of resistance.

Contributors are: Faith Agostinone-Wilson, Mike Cole, Jeremy T. Godwin, Jones Irwin, Austin Pickup, Daniel Ian Rubin, and Eric C. Sheffield.

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Faith Agostinone Wilson, Ed.D. (1998), Oklahoma State University, is Professor of Education at Aurora University. Her recent books include Enough Already! A Socialist Feminist Response to the Re-emergence of Right-Wing Populism and Fascism in Media (Brill | Sense, 2020) and Handbook for Undergraduate Research Advisors (Rowman & Littlefield, 2016).
This book will appeal to critical scholars and researchers in education, political science, media studies, journalism, communication studies, along with general readers seeking to interpret the recent U.S. political landscape.