Monday, August 31, 2020

Doubling Down

Conservatives have noted that there has been a doubling and redoubling of claims about - well, about a lot of things, but presently about racism from the left. We saw it with climate claims.  When judicious cautions did not result in everyone immediately signing on to redesigning the economy, we started to hear stories about all the polar bears dying, then hurricanes, then cities going under water. All the while, the real problem of the gradual threat to fresh water was ignored. We are seeing now the claims that the police are targeting young black men, and even that all whites are racist. Yes, this is silly, but it is also dangerous because people are acting as if it is true, and getting themselves worked into a frenzy byt convincing themselves "You see? Even when the cops are targeting young black men, this racist country refuses to make any changes."

It is a common enough human response, to keep ratcheting up saying "Even if X, they don't care.  Even if YYYYY! they don't care!" First catch your rabbit.  Establish that X has occurred. The response is so humanly common that conservatives are now doing it around C19.  We have recently moved into claims that are simply silly. Only 9,000 actual deaths from CoVid?  Take a breath.  Look at the reasoning.  Consider whether this standard is applied to any other cause of death.  Ask yourself if those ICU's were filling up and the excesses deaths were mounting because of a mere 9,000 cases.

Conservatives have perfectly legitimate issues about business shutdowns, overreactions, and inaccurate information given from supposedly legitimate sources. There do seem to have been overcounts, though I have noted a couple of times that there are undercounts as well.  (There is a good description in an article suggesting there is more suicide [which I challenged] of how undercounts can easily occur.*) But when everyone didn't immediately agree with you and say "Okay, sure, we'll do it your way," the proper response is not to start saying "Those are exaggerated numbers.  They are counting everyone who has CoVid, no matter what they died from."  If people are admitted for CoVid symptoms and die, that's worth noting, even if there's no positive test for the disease. Quacks like a duck remains a good indicator. Even without a DNA test, it's a duck.

So (a subset of) conservatives grew even angrier and more strident that they weren't being listened to on this issue and exhibited the same pattern as liberals, of making larger and larger claims in hopes of inspiring or shaming or bullying the populace into doing what we told you to five months ago, dammit. This doesn't work, nor should it. Stick with what is known, and if you venture into the probable or speculative, mention that explicitly.  If an Independent is thinking of defecting from usually supporting Democrats because they have gone into complete denial of reality*8 on racial attitudes, but wanders over and hears Trump supporters claiming there are only nine thousand "real" deaths from coronavirus, we're not getting that vote.  Capisce?

* There has even been a growth of Bulverism among conservatism on this score, the practice of moving to explanations of why a person is wrong (Their hospitals get more money, so of course, you naive fool) before establishing that they are, in strict accourdance with fact, wrong.  I shudder.

**That 99% of BLM are not murderers, and 90% do not even make excuses for murder is not evidence that the movement is mostly peaceful.  All organisations have less than 1% murderers, even the Mafia. It's the reverse of the standard applied to right-wing groups, where three degrees of separation aren't enough to keep you from being branded a terrorist supporter. Even if Black Lives Matter started out as a very decent group of people, when a few nutcases in other states start popping off decent people should start looking at where else their energy should go, and when whole chapters elect advocates for murder and start lighting buildings on fire the decent people pack their bags and not add continue to add credibility by their mere presence.  Those aren't our protestors, those are the protestors on the other side of town has never been persuasive. That is a rule that Americans have (imperfectly, but usually) applied, not only on each other, but on themselves.

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