KAMLOOPS — The first casualty, when war comes, is truth.
It's a quote from Hiram Johnson, a California senator, upon the outset of World War One.
It's clear that Republicans and Democrats in the United States believe they are in a war, because the truth is lying dead in the trenches.
And these are not subjective propositions, that ones that are open to the pushing and pulling and twisting and stretching of campaign spin artists.
These are objective, indisputable facts that can be tested and verified.
Facts like 'the Earth is round,' or 'the boiling temperature of water is 100 degrees Celsius.'
These facts are not important to one presidential candidate, Donald Trump, who routinely disputes that he said things he said.
His opponent, Hillary Clinton, can't even call him out on this, because truth clearly doesn't matter to those who might support him.
Clinton's conundrum is one no presidential candidate has faced before: Trump doesn't care if he's wrong.
There is a journalist, Daniel Dale of the Toronto Star, who is publishing a list of Trump's falsehoods every single campaign day.
These are simply statements that are empirically false, or that contradict previous statements Trump has made or planks in his own policy.
It's not a value statement on Republicans or Democrats, conservatives or liberals.
It's not a statement about whose policies would work out best for the country.
It's not really a statement about deception, either.
It's much more basic.
It's whether one candidate actually has a grasp on reality, or whether that person is experiencing delusions that affect his ability to process the world around him.
Given Trump's daily dalliances into a fantasy world, it's not a smear, it's a legitimate question.
Mind you, he won't care about the answer.