Letters to the Editor

Which political candidates should we trust?

In these days of “fake news” and “alternative facts,” it’s hard to trust any politicians. How can we tell which candidates are committed to the truth, and those who are not?

To address this problem, a group of scientists and concerned citizens came up with a way to show which politicians are committed to the truth: the Pro-Truth Pledge at ProTruthPledge.org. The pledge asks signers to commit to 12 behaviors that research shows correlate with truthfulness, including fact-checking before sharing information, citing one’s sources, and retracting incorrect statements.

Pledge-takers include private citizens who want to promote truthfulness in our society, and public figures who commit themselves to truthful behavior. Private citizens who sign the pledge evaluate the statements of public figures who signed the pledge, holding the latter accountable for any misinformation.

Over 100 citizens in Washington state have taken the pledge and called on their elected representatives and candidates for office to do so. As a result, in the Nov. 7 election, Olympia City Council candidate Allen Miller and Tumwater City Council candidate Chelsea Rustad have taken the pledge. They are now being held accountable for truth-oriented behavior by the citizens who have taken the pledge.

You can make a difference by taking the pledge yourself at ProTruthPledge.org, calling on your elected representatives to take it, and rewarding those who did. The truth matters!