On NATO, Russia, And Epistemic Closure

Note: I wrote this before Trump’s Russian hacking comments–there’s no conceivable way to keep up with Motormouth. That said, I think the same argument applies to that issue.

As I’ve mention several times before, I think Clinton wins the election–at this time, I just don’t see how the numbers add up for Trump (barring something like a video of Clinton biting the head off a puppy). That said, the cluelessness of the kinda-left pundit class scares the hell out of me–what if there’s some kind of epistemic closure going on here?

Because when I read some of the reaction to Trump’s recent statments about the NATO alliance, I get nervous. We absolutely need to honor our treaty obligations (I don’t think we should have expanded NATO so far, but that ship has sailed). If you’re going to play footsie with possibly not meeting those obligations, you certainly need a ‘what comes next’ plan. And it’s clear that Trump doesn’t have one.

That said, I feel reasonably confident making the following claims (and I have no particular animus towards Latvia; I just picked one of the small countries spending less than two percent GDP):

  1. Most Americans are unaware that Latvia is part of NATO (many probably couldn’t find it on a map).
  2. Most Americans are unaware that we are obligated by treaty to defend Latvia.
  3. Many, perhaps most, Americans would not want to risk their or their loved ones’ lives to defend Latvia, especially those who are more likely to actually do the fighting.
  4. As routinely happens, most of those braying the loudest about how vital defending Latvian freedom (which, again, I have nothing against) is will be the least likely to have to risk their lives.

Most left-ish pundits are acting as if it’s self-evident that Trump’s NATO statements are horrible. But I’m not convinced that the majority of Americans wouldn’t agree with him (especially when other countries aren’t pulling their weight in terms of spending). Moreover, this isn’t really something most people care about–it’s not really going to make their day-to-day lives better, one way or the other. As we often write, people have to like this crap.

This kind of disconnect from the voters Democrats need to reach scares the hell out of me and makes me wonder what else they’re missing. And, try as I might, I can’t read everything…

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1 Response to On NATO, Russia, And Epistemic Closure

  1. Very good point, clearly explained. Thanks.

    Tho, I’m pretty disappointed that you don’t read everything.

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