Instead of thinking, more lies and nonsense, I though, wow. What a masterstroke. There is no such thing as a real problem, a real issue, that can't be blamed on government / environmentalists / migrants, that can't be resolved by a little pressure in the right places, that hasn't been exaggerated or distorted by the experts. It's not as if the usual suspects have solved the drought / the economy / the migrants, maybe it's time for a different approach. So what if it's based on statements that are not true? Can he really do worse than the others? And what do these so-called experts know anyway?
Politics, 2016 style, has embraced the idea that truth is relative, a point of view, to be used whenever convenient. Of course it's not just the US; both sides in the Brexit debate have been found telling porkies. But the one that struck me recently was not lie at all, it was the claim by the Brexit campaigners that a recent report by the Institute of Fiscal Studies was not valid because the Institute had worked for the European Commission. Yet more and more research can only be funded with stakeholder support and engagement. This means that the the 'bias' whistle is increasingly easy to blow, even by members of a Government which has consistently urged academics to work with, and by part-funded by, stakeholders. We are all biased now.
The idea that research generates truth which is to be respected by non-specialists seems increasingly quaint and so-last-century. I started work in what is now the NERC Centre for Ecology and Hydrology in 1991, and remit was quite clear, to produce high quality, public domain, evidence to support decision making by policy makers. Even when I led work on GM crops, the quality of evidence was rarely questioned per se; the key debates were about how the evidence should be interpreted and used. Now scientific evidence is merely a point of view, and the creation of that evidence is a political act. Indeed, are we reaching the point where being an academic is a political act? It wouldn't be the first time, after all.