When editors discuss editing — whether among themselves or with clients — it is pretty clear that facts are important. If an author were to write that Columbus sailed the ocean for the Americas in 1692, I’m willing to bet that the manuscript’s editor would note that factual error. Getting facts right is one of the pillars supporting the concept of consistency in editing.
Alas, as we all know an editor’s penchant for fact accuracy does not seem to be a cornerstone of politics and this year’s presidential campaign may be the worst example of factual honesty thanks to Donald Trump. I doubt Pinocchio’s nose could grow long enough to envelope all his falsities.
With the first debate quickly approaching (Monday, September 26, 2016 at 9:00 PM EST), the question of facts in politics takes a front seat. An excellent opinion essay on the issue of whether facts matter, see
by Barbra Streisand at The Huffington Post. And when it comes to corruption, Trump is no slouch, as noted in this opinion piece by Paul Waldman in The Washington Post:
I find it odd that facts matter to editors and authors in their daily work but that some are willing to set aside the requirement for facts when choosing the president of the United States. Perhaps the presidential debates will demonstrate why we should be supporting and voting for Hillary Clinton and against Donald Trump in the 2016 election.
For me there is one overriding fact that supports my decision to support and vote for Hillary Clinton: I am confident that with Hillary Clinton as president there will still be an America for grandchildren 4 (or 8) years from now. I have no confidence that will be true should Trump be elected.
And if I were younger, a second fact that supports my decision is the economic harm that Trumpism promises to bring to America with his isolationism, and which I discussed in On Politics: Freelancing in a Trumpian World.
Just as facts matter in editing, they matter in politics — especially when electing a president of the United States.
Richard Adin, An American Editor