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Strong and Wrong

Matthew Yglesias: “Way back in 2002, Bill Clinton offered Democrats the advice that ‘when people feel uncertain, they’d rather have someone strong and wrong than weak and right.’”

“This has been quoted a lot over the years, but until Covid, I honestly never really understood what he was saying. But I can appreciate now that there was something more appealing about a wrong-but-coherent viewpoint like ‘Covid is no big deal and you can cure it with ivermectin so just go do whatever’ than there was to the incoherent mishmash of liberal America. Better than either of those things, of course, would be to either actually save lives with tough measures (Scott Morrison in Australia) or else equip people with accurate information while also leaving them free to choose (Stefan Löfven in Sweden).”

“But I found the Covid endgame in blue America to be incredibly aggravating, because it all devolved into a series of quasi-pointless political games. Things were open or closed based on lobbying clout, not public health analysis, and nobody was enforcing rules anyway.”

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