12/27/15

The attached WSJ article, “Trying to Hide the Rise of Violent Crime,” is of great significance and importance.

Not only is the subject itself a very important one, but it also serves to demonstrate the way that progressives twist the facts in order to serve what they believe are superior ideas on the road to achieving revered goals.

As to the subject itself, the author does a great job demonstrating her theory, which also happens to makes sense, in actual numbers and analysis supported by many examples. I am always more amenable to theories that make sense and demand much more proof from hypotheses that do NOT make sense. This one simply does and there is little that I can add to the analysis that the author provides here.

I will, however, make three comments:

  1. It is possible that this is a blip and not a trend. We are only 18 months after the start of the Ferguson phenomenon. On current expectations there is nothing that is likely to change the frame of mind and the movement that is driving this false narrative; so it is likely that we will be able to better judge if her theory is correct in 2-3 years. I am putting my money on her.
  2. One element of the Ferguson effect that is not well covered is the embolden-ness of the black citizen “arrestee.” If, in the past, the rule was that you do what the police tell you to do and you argue with them later, it is now very much en vogue to argue with the police and reject their authority right when they stop you—both for actual criminals AND for those who are completely innocent of any wrongdoing. That element is lethal. These arguments and lack of submission to police instructions, however wrong and unreasonable they are, are what cause a lot more confrontations that, at times, lead to tragedy; unnecessary tragedy. The rule MUST be: do what the cops tell you to do however unjust it is and argue later. That used to be the norm; it is not anymore due to the false narrative. It is as if disobeying the police guarantees you fame and riches.
  3. The difference between what happened in Ferguson and post-Ferguson to other similar situations pre-Ferguson stems from the divisive and partisan policies—and, indeed, racial baiting policies—advanced by President Obama and his previous Attorney General. The suggestion that racial bias by the police worsened in the last few years is nonsense. It is the political environment that became toxic and fertile for such reactions and narrative, a false one.

However, the importance of this article goes way beyond this one issue only. It shows the typical way in which progressives, with the help of their hugely (and blindly) supportive media, twist facts to fit their views. The frame of mind is always, “Don’t confuse me with facts; I made up my mind.”

So, why is that? Why is it that progressives refuse to look at facts when these facts do not support their ideas and goals? Why is it that they will twist the facts then deluge unfavorable facts with masses of irrelevant facts and issues to camouflage the failure of their policies?

It comes back to my Stupidity test/equation: If you are more arrogant than you are clever than you are stupid no matter how clever you are.

I framed that definition of stupidity first in my blog “Professor Jonathan Gruber: A Study in Stupidity” but I used it few times after that too. I think it is a very good and valid definition.

Progressives generally strive for beautiful and superior goals. Who can disagree with the wish to make everyone healthy, rich, happy, and educated; to completely eliminate police brutality; and on and on? These are all goals that NO ONE can argue with as goals. The thing is that no one does argue with these goals. The problem is that some of these goals are simply not achievable under any circumstances no matter what you do. However, the bigger difference between progressives and conservatives is how to achieve progress towards these goals.

Here is where the arrogance of progressives materializes. They believe that they know better, that they know what is good for all of us, and that they are, indeed, cleverer than conservatives. Therefore, they adopt the policy of the end justifies the means, and “don’t confuse me with facts” in the sheer belief that because their ideas and goals are venerable, it will be all right at the end. After all, they are all so clever. At least THEY think they are.

This arrogance and feeling of superiority is the reason progressives twist facts and create false narratives. The more astute of them do it knowingly based on the end justifies the means doctrine; the vast majority of them are simply not clever enough to see the truth.

The result is a progressive movement that, on the whole, is more arrogant than it is clever: they are STUPID.

Trying to Hide the Rise of Violent Crime