The most exhausting thing about our politics these days — other than the never-ending presidential election itself — is the obsession with “shaping the narrative.” By that I mean the effort to connect the dots between a selective number of facts and statistics to support one storyline about the state of the union.
Narrative-building is essential for almost every complicated argument because it’s the only way to get our pattern-seeking brains to discount contradictory facts and data. Trial lawyers understand this implicitly. Get the jury to buy the story, and they’ll do the heavy lifting of arranging the facts in just the right way.
President Obama understands this too. Just consider the way he talks about terrorism — often reassuring Americans that they’re more likely to die in a bathtub accident than in a terror attack.
And he’s right.
On the other hand, bathtubs aren’t trying to get nuclear weapons. Nor are bathtubs destabilizing the Middle East (often killing massive numbers of non-Americans) or otherwise plotting to conquer the world.
Read more at NationalReview.com…