Fact Check

“AP FACT CHECK: Trump claims 100M people looking for work” This is one of those headlines facilitated by the internet and high speed servers. It has become ubiquitous in current U.S. elections for “fact checking” to verify the veracity of any given candidate on any given position, policy, or situation. After all, if they are factual, then somehow or other they can be deemed to be worthwhile, valid or grounded in “reality”. The logic driving this is almost childishly…naive. What? Naive? No way. Sticking with the facts verifies that the aspiring office seeker is no daydream believer. By whom? The electorate, of course. Fact checking the electorate may reveal something quite the opposite. Steve Benen for MSNBC writes “Kentucky voters create ‘a big problem’ for themselves” (11-19-15). “We talked last week about a middle-aged Kentucky man who relies heavily on Medicaid expansion through the Affordable Care Act, but nevertheless voted for Gov.-elect Matt Bevin (R), who ran on a platform of destroying Medicaid expansion.” “The Lexington Herald-Leader reported today on Owsley County, Kentucky, where most local residents receive health coverage through Medicaid, but where most local residents also voted for the anti-Medicaid candidate.” “The Herald-Leader article quoted a political scientist who crunched the numbers and found that the Kentucky counties most reliant on Medicaid expansion were also the most likely to vote for the candidate who vowed to tear down Medicaid expansion.” While in “Texas: We don’t need academics to fact-check our textbooks” (Christian Science Monitor, Story Hinckley Staff 11-19-15) “The Texas Board of Education rejected a measure Wednesday that would require university experts to fact-check the state’s textbooks in public schools. The board rejected the measure 8-7, reaffirming the current fact-checking system that relies on citizen review panels made up of parents, teachers, and other members of the general public.”

Fact checking, it’s not just for candidates any more.


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