A nod to Jimmy Carter’s 1979 Crisis of Confidence speech. Today we find ourselves battling three dueling crises with three clear outcomes.

The major outrage of our time is that a sizable proportion of our elected leaders and electorate suffer from an often-willful lack of competence, lack of understanding, and lack of virtue. But these crises, as insurmountable as they seem, remain resolvable so long as we commit to compassion.


UN Office at Geneva, Switzerland (UNOG); headquarters of the UN Human Rights Council. The International Criminal Court — where international tribunals are held — is located elsewhere, in The Hague, Netherlands. Credit: Mathias P.R. Reding

By exploiting the naturally-limited bandwidth and blurry memories of human beings, the GOP continues to peddle the most dangerous of lies — false equivalencies — to stay in power, even after the insurrection attempt on Jan. 6th, 2021.

False equivalency is more than just a “spin,” it is more than just a tactic that masks the fact that you are losing a debate; it is the purposeful weaponization of the natural human propensity for blurry memories. It exploits the relative ease with which an illusion of truth can settle over repeated statements by those in power, even when false.

Lucien Wostenholme

Cornell '23 | Political takes informed by economics, psychology, urbanism, and empathy.

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