Mr. Trump’s False Equivalence

Mr. Trump’s repeated misuse of the term “fake news” is an example of what good thinkers call “false equivalence,” and it is blurring legitimate discussion of actual fake news. False equivalence occurs when someone tries to take two things that are not the same thing and try to call them the same thing. A popular version of this you may have seen on the internet involves taking whatever it is someone is against and associating it with Nazi’s. President Trump is doing the same thing by equating news coverage that he finds unfavorable with “fake news.”

Rewarding Bad Behavior

What makes us do things? This is a simple question with a variety of complex answers. One of those answers is incentives. An incentive is something that motivates a person to do something. Sometimes, unfortunately, the people setting the incentives mess them up and actually wind up incentivizing behavior that is contrary to what they intended. This is called a perverse incentive.

Looking Back on Obama

With Donald Trump’s inauguration behind us, and what promises to be a controversial presidency ahead, we wanted to look back at Barack Obama’s two terms and see Mr. Trump’s starting point. Republicans have sharply criticized the economy’s performance under Obama, while Mr. Obama has claimed himself that Americans are better off at the end of his presidency than they were at the beginning. I do want to remind readers at the outset that Presidents can have a profound impact on the economy, but the effects can take years to manifest and are hard to nail down. What follows is not an evaluation of Obama, but merely a look at what has happened while he was president.

A Call for Obama’s Resignation

There is an amusing petition on Change.org calling for President Barack Obama to resign as president on the day before or day of President-Elect Trump’s inauguration. The idea would be to make Joe Biden president for a day or so, apparently for grins and giggles. The petition was created by blogger and Yale graduate Zack Hunt. Sometimes all you can do is laugh.

Empathy

It may be that a little more compassion and a little less empathy may be in order. Care about everyone involved because it is the most humane thing to do, but do not let yourself lose sight of sound reason and compassion in feeling the feelings of those involved.

Donald Trump and the Constitution

A free society means you will, at times, be offended. Sacred symbols will be defiled. Heroes will be maligned. Silencing these things is possible but expensive. It will cost the very idea of a free and open society. If you want the freedom to express your views here, many views you find abhorrent will also be allowed to be expressed. This is part of the high price of liberty.