OK, some fake is alright. You then ask, did it do any harm? Maybe it is a children's game. A spoof.

The reason Fake News is front and center today is that it is in itself harmful. It becomes evil when the phrase fake news is applied to reports that are the good faith efforts of reliable reporters. The unfortunate truth is that our president does evil as a matter of course. It is baked into his presidency. And it is so close to the behavior of known dictators that it frightens those who work to make good prevail.

How free we are now as a country is an open question.

But if freedom has legs now, it stands for truth and justice. Truth is beautiful and it is made ugly when it is besmirched. Trump is trying to emerge as the injured party in this unseemly dance. That is hard to sustain when you do what you want to do when you want to do and no one can control you. That is Duterte behavior. It is a provocation.

Losers

Why then call Trump one of history's Losers? He seems poised to swallow the nation whole.He seems prepared to say he is above the law. Maybe he has already said it in many subtle and not so subtle ways.

The reason why Trump is a loser is the reason all dictators lose. They exist to retard history by lying. They catch enough deluded souls in their web of lies that they gain power, often by a vote.

Their lies are the real fake news. Everything they do to hold power adds to the fund of fakery.

Losers lose. We do not look back at dictators and celebrate them as the movers of history. We center on leaders in many fields Some invent health. Some create movement. Others defend rights and spread democracy -- the kind where rights for all exist.

Progress

We progress by learning from our mistakes. People are learning from Trump. They are learning how fakery works. They are seeing how it harms and demeans. Trump accounts for a reaction which could be good.

Providence is what reality provides in the way of goodness when goodness is in short supply. It is why we can speak of the best and worst of times in one sentence.

Antidote

The only antidote to fakery is discrimination according to values. If the news is clearly undemocratic, clearly aimed at exclusion and even harm to others, it is probably fake.If the source is known to be undemocratic, its output may well be fake.

The antidote to fake news is becoming better educated, more careful in clicking on this or that. Cat Stevens exaggerated when he said, years ago, it's a bad world. People are bad. Changing them is hard. But moving around them is not impossible. And countering their exil may well be our obligation.

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