The Problem with Opinion Pieces

The federal government just shut down, and Trump is going to unceasingly trumpet, pardon the pun, that the Democrats shut down the government just to satisfy a small minority of illegal immigrants. I was furious that the Democrats would do such a stupid thing, alienating the white voters they need to regain power.

So despite my firm belief that political pundits are right only by chance, I dashed off an essay bemoaning the Democrats’ elevation of principle over reality. Then I remembered that if enough Hispanics and blacks voted, they would tip the balance in favor of Democrats. So maybe this strategy was a good one after all.

By considering alternative viewpoints, my certainty that the Democrats had made a terrible error dissolved into skepticism about whether I could predict which strategy might work, or in general that I had more insight into the unpredictable future than the next self-proclaimed pundit.

It is impossible to predict events on a fine scale, as civilization is far too complicated to model in any detail. However, I do believe that if you back far enough away it is possible to create accurate (if approximate) models of selected aspects of complex systems. The one about which I hammer away is the ample scientific evidence that civilization in general and the U.S. way of life in particular are both unsustainable, that some sort of major correction will occur in the near future, and that no one is making plans for dealing with this over-riding issue.

So you are spared another liberal rant.

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