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Weekend Reads 3/7/20

Politicians Are The Last People Americans Want Fighting Coronavirus

That effect, though, can be undermined when mistrusted elected officials start putting themselves at the forefront of otherwise trustworthy public health campaigns, Blendon said. “The minute there’s a political motive, people say, ‘Well they didn’t make that decision because it’s the best judgement, they made it for political reasons,’” he said. Basically, one of the most trusted professions is probably a better source of information than one of the least.

Biden, Sanders, and the struggle for the Democrats’ future

While the restoration wing of the party seeks a return to political norms, civility, and respect for all after years of growing polarization, the progressive wing argues that the United States needs bolder, sweeping changes to everything from health care to climate change.

Loving Your Neighbor in a Time of Coronavirus

When a health crisis threatens Americans, it is no time for the president to riff off the top of his head on cable news shows. But that is Trump’s way of governing: putting his own personal agenda before public service, and that is now adding to the threat of an escalating worldwide disease. All of Trump’s political energy and that of his administration could be spent giving the American public transparent, truthful, and measured facts, updates, and advice about the virus and its spread. That is what public service and presidential leadership should look like.

Are You an Anti-Influencer?

Being a dowsing rod for disappointments, moreover, appears to be a curiously stable attribute, a “sticky” trait that is transported but not transmitted and doesn’t bow to shifting social norms. “It’s not a contagious thing,” Professor Tucker says. “It’s an inherent characteristic.”

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