Everyone has to agree that 2016 has been a weird year. It comes as no surprise that post-truth and paranoid are the words of the year. The Oxford Dictionary chose post-truth and the Cambridge Dictionary chose paranoid. Combined, these words capture the spirit of 2016 perfectly.
Let’s start with post-truth. According to Australia’s ABC:
The compound adjective post-truth was defined as “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief”.
That pretty much sums up the American election and a lot of other things. Please don’t pat yourself on the back if you didn’t vote for Trump. It applies to Clinton voters, too. They just didn’t see how she was shooting herself in the foot. Nor did they acknowledge the fact that the media sidelined Bernie Sanders and the DNC made sure he didn’t become the candidate for President. Clinton voters overlooked her ties to Wall Street and her penchant for war.
Clinton was a seasoned politician and that, it seems, was all that was required for her to become President. Democrats blamed racism for her loss, but that was too easy a call. Many people voted for Trump because they thought he would be a break from the status quo. They were wrong, of course, but that’s why post-truth is such a good word of the year. Everybody was voting not on facts but on “appeals to emotion and personal belief.”
Now let’s look at paranoid. According to the Cambridge Dictionary blog:
We cannot, of course, know exactly why users are searching for a particular word, but it suggests perhaps a feeling that the institutions that have kept us safe can no longer be trusted, that the world feels more uncertain than it did a year ago. When we look at other words that have shown similar increases, we can build a fuller picture: anxiety, chaos; a feeling that societies are breaking down; increases in prejudice, bigotry and bullying; and people feeling nostalgic for what are perceived as simpler times.
Well, it’s certainly true that the “institutions that have kept us safe can no longer be trusted.” How can they when they fabricate wildly unbelievable fantasies. The funniest one is that Russia was behind the Trump victory. Hot on its heels are the allegations that alternative news sites are all under Russia’s control.
RT is certainly run by Russia, but have you ever watched it? You might be surprised to see that many guests are Americans who can’t find a voice on the mainstream media. RT gives them the opportunity to speak out on issues they are shut out of the MSM for. Oh, and President Obama made a big deal of Donald Trump appearing on RT. He failed to mention that he appeared on the Larry King show. Larry King is pretty much the same as he was when he was on the MSM.
So of course post-truth makes us paranoid. We don’t know what to believe anymore. What will the word of the year be in 2017? Perhaps it will be braindead. I just watched an episode of Braindead on TV and it seems about right. People really are losing their minds. Or maybe the matrix will make a comeback. We do seem to be living in a bizarre matrix that has no connection with reality.