When my mother went through elementary school in London, she had a science teacher who started the term by saying: “There are facts, and then there is everything else.” As the term proceeded and students made statements about subjects they were studying, she would challenge them: “How do you know that? Did you hear it, did you read it, did you see it? What makes you think it is true?” It seems to me that America, and particularly the White House, could benefit from that teacher.

Between Bigfoot and “alternative facts,” we have become a society who, through lack of discernment, has allowed opinions to be elevated to the same level as facts. This is what has created an atmosphere where disinformation flourishes and a president will say anything and then accuse the media of “fake news.”

An old Maine teacher of mine once said: “Just remember – figures don’t lie, but liars often figure.”

Richard McWilliams

Yarmouth