Wednesday, May 17, 2017

An interesting question

Robert Jervis, Columbia professor of international politics, looks at Trump's firing of Comey in an interesting way.  He contends, and rightly so, that we have a "common psychological difficulty in facing painful trade-offs and realizing the costs of our preferred course of action. In a form of wishful thinking, when people come to believe that doing something is necessary, they have trouble seeing the obstacles and costs."

He then reviews the situation and concludes: "Liberals like me pride ourselves on being more sophisticated and on using what Nobel Prize winner Daniel Kahneman called System 2, which is slow and careful thinking. But how many of them us have paused in our denunciations of Trump and calls for an unimpeded investigation into the Russian connections to ask whether such a strong instrument of state power as the FBI should be free to act without the supervision of elected officials? Do we really think that a return to the J. Edgar Hoover era is healthy for democracy? It is all too easy for us to overlook inconvenient questions and to see only what we need and expect."

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