Facts and truth are essential. Donald Trump says he wants to build a wall between the US and Mexico. His rhetoric has created a wall in people's minds. This wall is a perceptual filter. People who favor him and the border wall will allow through that filter and into their minds only information (whether true or not) that supports their position. People who oppose him and the border wall will allow through their filter and into their minds only information (whether true or not) that supports their position.
We all build these walls, walls that surround beliefs we hold. A child who has decided he or she doesn't like broccoli isn't going to be swayed by a parent saying, “It's good for you.”
These walls work both to reject information that conflicts with our preconceived notions and to pass through information that supports our preconceptions.
A person who likes Hillary Clinton will dismiss anything said against her and accept anything, true or false, that favors her. A person who likes Trump will dismiss anything said against him and accept anything, true or false, that favors him.
Research in psychology and neuroscience has shown fairly conclusively that the walls we build in our mind to protect our beliefs not only are strong but also are not broken down by an attack but rather are strengthened by an attack.
Facts and truth that conflict with preconceptions are an attack, a frontal attack, on those walls. They are likely to strengthen people's walls. The goal of a writer (even a curmudgeon) is to create cognitive dissonance, a tension in people's minds between their preconceived notions and new ideas.
I see two ways of breaking down such walls: undermining them or creating a new belief that is non-threatening and which sounds plausible. In other words, I need to write in a way that allows the reader to willingly suspend his or her disbelief in what I say. I need to write in a way that either undermines without attacking or creates a new belief that might cause the reader to question other beliefs.
Sounds hard. Really hard.
Registered Curmudgeon, scientist, skeptic, humanist, and writer.