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‘A nation of magical thinkers’: Michigan professor warns of ‘apocalyptic’ disregard for truth

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HERSHEY, PENNSYLVANIA/USA DECEMBER 10, 2019: President Donald Trump, left, appears with vice-president Mike Pence

A professor at the University of Michigan Law School says that the COVID-19 pandemic has revealed a “fundamental flaw” in America’s education system.

In an op-ed for the Detroit Free Press, Professor Len Niehoff argues that students are not being taught about the importance of evidence in making public health decisions.

“We have failed to teach a subject of critical importance, and as a result have imperiled our health, our economy, and our republic,” Niehoff writes. “We teach it in law school. We call it Evidence.”

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COVID-19 has revealed our societal failure to understand what evidence is and to respect how it works. National and local political leaders have made decisions that ignored the evidence. Members of the general public have proved slow to accept the evidence. Measures adopted to help flatten the curve have been met with virulent protests, despite the evidence that they are working.

COVID-19 has no monopoly here. We’ve done little to address global warming, despite the evidence. We pretend the wild escalation of the national debt has no consequences, despite the evidence. And so on.

“We have become a nation of magical thinkers, making decisions based on what we hope is the case and whom we want to believe,” Niehoff laments. “When confronted with opposing evidence, we do not engage with it. We dismiss it and stick a label on it: ‘fake,’ ‘phony,’ ‘biased,’ etc. And then we mistake that label for evidence.”

Niehoff goes on to suggest that every high school student be required to take a course in evidence.

“Without such training, we will continue to make decisions based not on what is true but on what we wish were true,” he warns. “Things like pandemics don’t care about our preferences. They have a ruthless commitment to reality. We need one, too.”

“If we don’t, we will not just repeat the errors of the past,” Niehoff concludes. “We will blunder into fresh ones that were avoidable, but that our disregard of truth has made apocalyptic.”

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Read the entire column here.


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2020 Election

Trump declares that Fox News is ‘no longer the big deal’ in the 2020 presidential campaign

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Donald Trump on Friday reflected on what he sees as the key differences between his 2016 and 2020 presidential campaigns.

"The biggest difference between the Presidential Race in 2020 and that of 2016 is the 2016 candidate, Crooked Hillary Clinton, was much smarter and sharper than Slow Joe, we have even more ENTHUSIASM now, and [Fox News] has become politically correct and no longer the big deal!" Trump tweeted after arriving at his Bedminster Golf Club for the weekend.

Trump has grown increasingly frustrated by the network and its polls, which gave him more bad news on Thursday.

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2020 Election

‘Very good news’: Law prof praises Kentucky’s bipartisan compromise to allow everyone to vote by mail

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The state of Kentucky was praised on Friday after a bipartisan agreement was reached to expand voting by mail during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Any Kentucky voter wary of the risk of COVID-19 will be able to vote in the Nov. 3 general election by mailing in an absentee ballot. Voters will also have the option of casting a ballot in person during the three weeks leading up to the election, or waiting until Election Day," the Lexington Herald-Leader reported Friday.

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‘Proof of Trump’s dementia’: President ridiculed as ‘delusional’ for his latest claim about the 2020 campaign

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President Donald Trump said his campaign is trying to win the state of New York in the 2020 presidential campaign.

While on his way to a weekend at his Bedminister Golf Club, Trump tweeted a picture of a New York Post cover with the president claiming the state is "in play" during the 2020 presidential election.

"Just landed in New York to see my brother, Robert. We’re going for New York on November 3rd. We’re going to Reduce Taxes, Increase Law Enforcement, and bring it back BIG TIME!" Trump claimed.

The president was quickly ridiculed for thinking New York is in play, when election analysts view New York as a safe state for Democrats.

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