We use different standards of honesty to judge falsehoods we find politically appealing versus unappealing.
Even when partisans agree on the facts, they can come to different moral conclusions about the dishonesty of deviating from those facts. The result is more disagreement in an already politically polarized world
Thinking about how a lie could be true leads people to see telling the lie as less unethical, but only when the lie is consistent with their prior political preferences -->
Mr. Trump’s representatives have used a psychological strategy to defend his falsehoods: They encourage people to reflect on how the falsehoods could have been true. This can convince supporters that it’s not all that unethical to tell a falsehood.
He “encourage[s] people to reflect on how the falsehoods could have been true.” And his base goes for it. Nothing new in the annals of magical-thinking politics on the right & left, but a first for a US President to go Orwellian.
No, Trump, a lie doesn’t become true just because it could have been true if reality had been different.
Even when partisans agree on the facts, they can come to different moral conclusions about the dishonesty of deviating from those facts. Blame the human ability to imagine what might have been.
Why Trump Supporters Don’t Mind His Lies, via
Gray Matter: Why Trump Supporters Don’t Mind His Lies
The science of 'truthiness': Why Trump Supporters Don’t Mind His Lies
Why Trump Supporters Don’t Mind His Lies: Wittingly or not, Mr. Trump’s representatives have used a subtle psychological strategy to defend his falsehoods: They encourage people to reflect on how the falsehoods could have been true.
“reflecting on how a falsehood could have been true did cause people to rate it as less unethical to tell — but only when the falsehoods seemed to confirm their political views. Trump supporters and opponents both showed this effect.”
Opinion | Why Trump Supporters Don’t Mind His Lies - The New York Times
“When a falsehood resonated with people’s politics, asking them to imagine counterfactual situations in which it could have been true softened their moral judgments.”
Another angle on Harry Frankfurt's analysis of "bullshitting".
"We use different standards of honesty to judge falsehoods we find politically appealing versus unappealing."