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Friday, January 11, 2019

Trying, Fruitlessly, to Debunk Some Myths

Trying, Fruitlessly, to Debunk Some Myths

With Elizabeth Warren forming a presidential exploratory committee, the 2020 presidential campaign has begun. We can start expecting with more and more articles about possible candidates, issues, and analysis, especially of the 2016 election. As Justin Taylor notes in this article, “Stop Saying 81 Percent of White Evangelicals Vote for Trump (It Was Probably Less than Half),” his argument, however factual, is not going to kill this myth. But like him, I think it’s important to recognize this is one of many bits of fake news we’ve been treated to for the last couple of years—and so prepare ourselves to be a tad more skeptical about anything we read in an election season.
Speaking of myths, here’s another one that is hard to kill: that raising children’s self-esteem is a “social vaccine” that can cure many of society’s ills, from poverty to crime to depression and so much more. Although this was disproved decades ago—with a fair amount of research showing that an undue emphasis on self-esteem is likely harmful. This is one point of journalist and novelist Will Storr’s Selfie: How We Became so Self-Obsessed and What It’s Doing to Us. Here’s an interview with the author.
The Cold Button Issue of the Next Election
As I’ve said before, I am not an economist or a son of an economist. So I may be out of my depth in even recommending this article. But it was published in The Weekly Standard before the publication closed down recently. So I assume it must have some level of credibility. At any rate, it seems a reasonable concern to be worried about the federal debt, given its size, even as we trust God providentially to care for our nation. Here’s how it begins:
America’s deteriorating public credit is the cold-button issue of the 2018 midterms. With rare bipartisanship, Democrats and Republicans compete to pretend that the country isn’t going broke. In 1992, the third-party presidential candidate Ross Perot likened the widening gap between federal receipts and federal spending to “the crazy aunt tucked away in the room upstairs nobody talks about.” The old gal’s dottier than ever.

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