Americans no longer expect or care about candidates making honest assertions in the public sphere. They no longer expect consistency and honesty from politicians, and the savvy political campaigner recognizes that there is no cost to making statements that contradict even their most well-known beliefs…

…Claims in the public domain are now routinely treated as intentional distortions of facts to promote ideologies; distortions or misrepresentations justified by the need to “counterbalance” false claims from the other side.

Jason Stanley, New York Times. Speech, Lies and Apathy

Put another way, and as part of a Times news analysis/convention factcheck effort:

The growing number of misrepresentations appear to reflect a calculation in both parties that shame is overrated, and that no independent arbiters command the stature or the platform to hold the campaigns to account in the increasingly polarized and balkanized media firmament. Any unmasking of the lies or distortions, the thinking goes, rarely seeps into the public consciousness.

Good times.

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