Whisper sweet nothings to me, Economist’s Democracy in America blog!
Among the many things that my peeps (The Davids: Brooks and Frum; Sullivan; Douthat) are tip-typing about this week is Charles Murray’s strange book,
How Rich White People Lost Their Groove and How They Can Get It Back Coming Apart: The State of White America 1960-2010. Murray says all kinds of crazy stuff and manages to offend just about everyone, including the great minority: reasonable people.
Data can bear on policy issues, but many of our opinions about policy are grounded on premises about the nature of human life and human society that are beyond the reach of data. Try to think of any new data that would change your position on abortion, the death penalty, legalization of marijuana, same-sex marriage or the inheritance tax. If you cannot, you are not necessarily being unreasonable.
YES YOU ARE.
To wit, whoever wrote the Economist’s blog post today had a lot of fun with this exercise (his/her exact words). An example:
Same-sex marriage. I’m so pro, I almost wish I were gay so I could have one. If compelling evidence were unearthed that showed that widespread same-sex marriage really would precipitate the unraveling of the traditional family and subsequently the stability of society and the ruin of us all, I suppose I’d settle for the right of same-sex couples to shack up.
I’m a bore as it is; imagine how boring I argued the same position over and over in spite of changing times and facts?!