"Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he."
-- Proverbs 29:18, King James Bible (KJV)

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

The Chump Factor at Krugman and the Presidential Candidates: The Inability of People to Admit Their Wrongs and Change Their Minds Accordingly

Once people take a stance on a given issue, they are unlikely to change their minds and admit that they were in the wrong, even if it becomes clear later that they in fact had erred. Wishful thinking and saving face rather than facing reality guides their actions.

We see this particularly in the paradigms of mainstream science and in political, economic, social and religious views and affiliations. People will cling to their previously made allegiances regardless of the actual facts.

Although a certain amount of "loyalty" is surely laudable, blind allegiance is not, although the "Chump Factor" is a widespread human characteristic. Economist Paul Krugman has it right in principle in discussing the U.S. Presidential candidates at http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/12/15/the-donald-and-the-chump-factor/?emc=edit_ty_20151215&nl=opinion&nlid=14116646.

As Krugman writes:

"Nobody likes looking like a chump, and most people will go to great lengths to convince themselves that they weren't."

Krugman, however, wrongly points to Donald Trump and his supporters as an example. Regardless of one's political leanings, Trump's supporters have thus far not been proven to be "in the wrong" at all. Trump leads, and he could win.

We say that as a political centrist.

What about all those who support and sponsor a broad field of Republican Party candidates who have no chance of winning? What about all those GOP candidates who lack the common sense to drop out of the race even though they are clearly out of the running? What does it say about a political party when "everyone" out there wants to be President? We call that wishful thinking.

The Democratic Party candidates fare no better under the "Chump Factor" test.

Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State of the USA in the Obama administration from January 2009 to February 2013. That is FOUR years. Wikipedia: "She viewed "smart power" as the strategy for asserting U.S. leadership and values, by combining military power with diplomacy and American capabilities in economics, technology, and other areas." What was the result? The result is a world in chaos. Unchanged thereafter, she has committed herself to an errant foreign policy philosophy based on wishful thinking which has proven wrong.

The Democratic Party has another puzzling candidate in 74-year old Bernie Sanders looking longingly for an American version of Scandinavia in the States.  A socialist-type system that is effective primarily in the more-or-less homogeneous (uniform, unvarying) countries of northern Europe has no chance of succeeding in the heterogeneous (diverse, non-uniform) USA. It is just is not going to happen. A President can not run a nation based on wishful thinking.