FRONT PAGE CONTRIBUTOR
What’s The Liberal Equivalent Of Climate Denial?
Sometimes something comes along that is so worthwhile that it has to be shared. This is one of those occasions. One of RedState’s founders, Ben Domenech, edits and publishes a daily newsletter called The Transom. If you don’t get it, you should. About 70% of my posts are inspired, directly on indirectly, from what I read there. Not only does Ben aggregate and synopsize an incredible array of sources but he also adds his own whip smart commentary.
WHAT’S THE LIBERAL EQUIVALENT OF CLIMATE DENIAL?:
The other day on Twitter Ezra Klein asked this interesting question: “what’s the liberal equivalent of climate denial?” http://vlt.tc/1f0q From his piece, the crux of his argument is the intersection of these two sentences: “Political reasoning doesn’t take place inside our heads. It takes place inside our parties.” And: “Self delusion leads to bad policies, bad policies lead to bad outcomes, and bad outcomes leads to the loss of power.” I think both of these sentences are false on their face. I think the experience of governance and the political process teaches us that people do reason politically, and the policy outcomes and political outcomes do not necessarily correspond to how they reason. This can play out through our party system, but it hardly leads to the tidy A/B/C Klein presents.
But back to Klein’s initial question: I assume by “climate denial” Klein means an example where the bulk of real-world data, history, and experience indicate one thing, and liberals either deny its accuracy or say we ought to ignore it in order to pursue some higher aim via the policies they support. Perhaps one or two things may come to mind, such as the economic effects of the minimum wage; the gender wage gap; gun control and crime; the relationship of marriage to poverty; the Population Bomb and resource exhaustion; the environmental impact of fracking; the ramifications of welfare reform; the effect of public housing; the impact of teacher unions on government schools; the crisis of public pensions; home schooling; the safety record of nuclear power; any instance ever of voter fraud; the effectiveness of mandates; the Laffer curve; the Rahn curve; money as a solution for problems in K-12 education; the consequences of affirmative action; the price impact of higher ed subsidies; the possibility that torture can produce accurate information; Paul Ryan; Charles Murray; Margaret Sanger; free trade; the permanence of the Soviet Union; the social justice of Latin American Communism; the nuclear freeze; the Coming Ice Age; recycling; GMOs; the price system; how supply and demand works; the broken window fallacy; the fact that boys and girls are biologically different; the point when human life begins; and, of course, Christianity. To name a few.
I’ll try to think of more. Maybe we should ask Larry Summers.