Michael Hayden, former director of the NSA and CIA, in an op-ed for The New York Times:
The veneer of civilization, I concluded, was quite thin — a
natural thought for an intelligence officer whose profession
trends pessimistic and whose work is consumed by threats and
dangers. Over the years I had learned that the traditions and
institutions that protect us from living Hobbesian “solitary,
poor, nasty, brutish and short” lives are inherently fragile
and demand careful tending. In America today, they are under
It was no accident that the Oxford Dictionaries’ word of the year
in 2016 was “post-truth,” a condition where facts are less
influential in shaping opinion than emotion and personal belief.
To adopt post-truth thinking is to depart from Enlightenment
ideas, dominant in the West since the 17th century, that value
experience and expertise, the centrality of fact, humility in the
face of complexity, the need for study and a respect for ideas.
Truth versus post-truth is a far more important battle than left versus right.