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What is truth? And how to convince anyone to believe it?

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es. Vienna, July 2, 2022

It seems obvious, yet it isn’t, especially in divided America. What underpins truth is mutual trust, and institutions that are serious and credible.

25-year-old Miss Hutchinson vs Trumpworld, on the streets and as a shadowy menace in background

Anne Applebaum’s recent essay on the January 6 hearings in Washington about what happened during the attempted coup is worth reading in this context. How to change the fact that, despite constantly mounting evidence, most of the Republican Party refuses to believe Donald Trump lost the 2021 election? And a third of Americans are still unsure of the truth? 

One of the originalities of the broadcasts of the Congressional hearing has been to edit it like a kind of Netflix film, complete with cliffhangers and surprise witnesses, notably its star 25-year-old former Trump aide Cassidy Hitchinson. Maybe, just maybe, Americans will now start to notice. But Anne Applebaum’s insistence on credible institutions as central to a civilised society remains her pivotal point.

I must declare an interest – Anne was my first and most perceptive East European correspondent at The Independent, now sadly owned by the son of a Russian oligarch. ES

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