Monday, May 14, 2018

A Good President

From The Daily Wire:
The Left unsurprisingly remains steadfast in their opposition to President Trump. What’s disappointing is that a handful of “Never Trump” Republicans remain equally unwilling to admit the obvious: Donald Trump is a good president. Indeed, the remaining anti-Trump voices on the Right seem more desperate than ever to take down the president, if only to prove that, actually, they were right all along.

An oft-abused Ralph Waldo Emerson saying comes to mind. Clumsy pedants misquote the transcendental essayist absurdly insisting, “Consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.” In reality Emerson wrote, “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.” The distinction is crucial. Logic requires consistency, but logical premises can be proved wrong. The madman who is convinced he's a banana and therefore peels off his own skin follows a consistent logic; the trouble is that his premise isn’t true.

People are stubborn. More precisely, they easily fall prey to commitment bias, whereby individuals become more convinced of their position once they have declared it publicly. The more people defend their opinions, the more difficult those opinions are to dislodge even as evidence mounts to rebut them. Foolish ideologues, presented with evidence that reality contradicts their theories, reject reality for their theories. (Read more.)

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