Nancy Santanello (PA): ‘We Are in a Post-Fact Era’
Nancy Santanello (70), a Democrat from New Hope, PA, was raised Catholic and converted to Judaism when she married her Jewish husband. At Howard University, she was the only white woman in her medical school class. She spent most of her career at the pharmaceutical company Merck, where she led the Department of Epidemiology for 12 years. She is vocal about politics on Twitter. “Where else,” she says, “can you publicly tell President Trump that he’s a moron?”
Do you think it’s possible for Democrats and Republicans to ever agree on the facts around the president’s actions?
No—I think that we are in a post-fact era. So many people are unable or unwilling to accept facts that do not agree with their bias. As the House Republicans’ impeachment vote showed, even those who call themselves moderates are unwilling to put country over party when they know that Trump’s actions violated the Constitution. We have a president who believes in conspiracy theories over data and facts from U.S. intelligence agencies because those conspiracies comport with his bias and with his narcissistic personality disorder. He believes dictators such as Putin over career State Department and National Security officials who testified under oath. Given the propaganda being spread by Russia and right-wing elements of the GOP, we will not be able to agree on facts related to Trump’s actions.
Did the impeachment proceedings hurt or improve Trump’s chances for re-election?
I think that they hurt his chances because more and more independents and people who are not involved in politics are beginning to see that Trump violated our Constitution to benefit himself and then obstructed Congress. There will be no changing the Trump cult, which may be as many as 40 percent of voters, but we just need to register more people, encourage young people to understand this is their future and get out the vote.
Which Democratic candidate(s) do you think will give Trump the greatest challenge for re-election?
I support them all. Any one of them is better than Trump, but I am concerned that we need to appeal to moderates.
Are truthfulness and honesty key qualities for you in deciding which presidential candidate to support?
Yes. Recognizing that no one will be 100 percent honest all the time, I’d take even 50/50 at this point. I am very tired of the liar in the White House.
Do you believe the candidate(s) you support are honest?
Yes, I think that they are all good ethical people trying to make a difference.