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Profs & Pints: The Truth About “Alternative Facts”
June 11, 2019 @ 6:30 pm - 9:00 pm UTC+0$2 – $12
Profs and Pints presents: “The Truth about ‘Alternative Facts,’” a look at the causes and political consequences of our becoming one nation with two realities, with David Barker, director of American University’s Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies.
The deep divides that define politics in the United States are no longer just about differences in policy preference or culture. Americans these days can’t even agree on basic questions of fact. Is climate change real? Does racism still determine who gets ahead? Is sexual orientation innate? Do immigration and free trade help the economy or hurt it? Does gun control reduce violence? Our answers to these questions often reflect our ideological bias far more than anything else.
David Barker, a professor of Government who previously gave an illuminating Profs and Pints talk on Congressional gridlock, returns to the stage to share findings from the 20 years of research that went into his new book One Nation, Two Realities: Dueling Facts in American Democracy. He’ll be sharing a number of enlightening and provocative conclusions that challenge the idea that reform is possible any time soon.
He’ll discuss research showing that dueling fact perceptions are not so much a product of hyper-partisanship or media propaganda as of simple value differences and deepening distrust of authorities. He’ll describe how such clashes in perception warp the electorate and foster social contempt in many arenas of life, even in the workplace. And he’ll show how the highly educated–on both the right and the left – not only carry the biggest guns but also are the quickest to draw. Alas, fact-checking and other proposed remedies don’t seem to holster too many weapons, and can even add bullets to the chamber.
It’s a talk that will give you a new perspective on both recent elections and the 2020 elections that we’re gearing up for now. You’ll approach the political problems of our day with more sophistication. That much is the truth. (Advance tickets: $12. Door: $15, save $2 with a student ID. Listed time is for doors. Talk starts 30 minutes later. Please allow yourself plenty of time to place any orders and get settled into place.)