The cults of facts
By contrast, in the Kantian tradition facts are always enveloped in a penumbra of expectation and interpretation. This does not mean that one should reject the finding that some assertions have a greater truth value than competing ones, but in many instances this superiority is less easily established than the cult of facts would suggest.
Outright lies should always be exposed as such. What I am questioning is whether, in combatting them, we may rely on on an indisputable body of facts. My early studies with Karl Popper taught me that there is a spectrum ranging from mathematical propositions, which have the highest truth value - on the one hand - and outright lies of the Goebbels type - on the other. My view is that in our society liberals are too quick to congratulate themselves with the claim that they adhere only to facts.
With experience most politicians (of whatever stripe) learn to cultivate techniques of evasion, such as dancing around an issue, answering a question that was not asked, semantic quibbling ("it depends on what "is" means"), and so forth. Deployment of these techniques does not, in my view, reflect a strict adherence to facts, Yet to survive in politics it seems mandatory to acquire proficiency in the gray area populated by these verbal devices.