Basic ideas of truth are today under vicious assault from a president who lies relentlessly in service of a reactionary, nationalist agenda. Right-wing politicians and media excuse or participate in these deceptions, further disabling democracy.
The History, Truth and Consequences Working Group seeks to cut through the fog of lies and educate about the dangers of government based in reality-bending propaganda. Plenty of outfits already document Trump’s daily untruths. Our goal, as historians, is to use our appreciation of both fact and context, our public reputation as guardians of historical truth, and our skills at storytelling to empower communities to articulate the ruinous effects of government lies and the humanity, struggles, and passion for justice those lies cannot suppress.
Our work may be conventionally academic: to develop curricula and provide deep context on issues distorted by state and media propaganda. But it will also be creative, using diverse art forms, new media, direct actions, and nationally coordinated educational activities to stand up for genuine democracy, based in deliberation and core commitments to freedom, equality, and peace.