The Politics of No Possible Downside

It seems like since 9/11 Western politicians have operated from dogmatic stances, not prudential ones. As a result, goals are declared and pursued without considering that they could in fact have negative consequences.

Leading up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq, the possible negative consequences were not considered, and the patriotism of anyone who mentioned the possible negative consequences was held in doubt. Obama’s withdrawal from Iraq was likewise seen as an absolute good with no possible downside. Anyone who pointed out the entirely predictable consequences of creating a power vacuum in Iraq was dismissed as pro war.

The latest example of the politics of no possible downside was Angela Merkel allowing a wave of unvetted young Arab men to walk into her country. Mass migration was seen as an unalloyed good (diversity! compassion!) and anyone who pointed out the inevitable disruption and obvious dangers was dismissed as a racist.


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