In slamming Twitter for fact-checking President Trump, many have ignored the key questions, Liz Peek argues at The Hill: “Why this issue? Why now?” The answer: to help Democrats, who need “massive, if not record-breaking, voter turnout” in November — especially with Joe Biden leading the ticket. Twitter flagged two Trump tweets, blasting mail-in ballots and warning of voter fraud, and directed readers to a CNN assertion that Trump’s claims are “unsubstantiated.” Dems are hoping mail-in voting will “ease the process,” boost turnout and perhaps open the door to ballot-harvesting, and the pandemic has given them an excuse to push for it. Yet that will “undermine the integrity of our elections” and only rally Trump’s supporters. As will “Twitter leaping to their aid.”
Eye on 2024: GOP Primary Is Underway
“In a very real sense,” declares Kristen Soltis Anderson at the Washington Examiner, the 2024 GOP primary is “already underway.” Its central issue: China. Beijing “is hardly just a foreign-policy issue”; it’s “deeply interwoven” into key voter issues, like health care and the economy. “Apprehension about China predates” both COVID-19 and the Trump era, but “Republicans are now even more focused” on it. Their frustration won’t go away in four years. Nor are feelings about China “confined to any one wing of the Republican Party.” Which is why, whatever happens in November, dealing with China “will be at the heart of the debate” over who’s best for the GOP, post-Trump.
Iconoclast: Georgia on Their Minds
“I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but Atlanta is not burning,” snarks The Week’s Matthew Walther. Democrats and their media allies looked forward to gloating “about the cravenness and stupidity of yet another GOP politician” after Gov. Brian Kemp reopened the state. But “bodies are not piled up in the streets,” and hospitals are “virtually empty,” even as Georgians “are returning to some semblance of normal life: working outside their homes, going to restaurants and bars” and spending time with friends. Why were the doomsayers wrong? Data suggest “the lifting of lockdowns is positively correlated with a decrease in rates of infection.” And maybe that’s because lockdowns, at least in part, “are inherently ineffective at slowing down a disease” that spreads mostly through families and hospitals.
Culture beat: Left-Wing Authoritarians Are Real
Decades ago, Bob Altemeyer, famous for his studies on right-wing authoritarian-personality traits, dismissed the idea of similar traits on the left, observes André Spicer at the New Statesman. But now a graduate student, Thomas Costello, and his colleagues have used “standard” psychological testing procedures and identified “tell-tale signs” of just that: left-wing beliefs that “people with opposing political views” are “inherently immoral,” those in power “should be punished” and government should “forcefully stop people from sharing views they find abhorrent.” Other researchers report that “left-wing authoritarians tend to reject mainstream political institutions.” Some, like Altemeyer, still think the notion is “a myth.” Nonetheless, asserts Spicer, “left-wing authoritarianism will continue to play a decisive role in some of the most contentious political issues of our time.”
COVID journal: Behind the Conspiracy Theories
“There is no COVID-19 vaccine, but there are already COVID-19 vaccine conspiracies,” sighs Sarah Zhang at The Atlantic. “Even as vaccines for the disease caused by SARS-CoV-2 are being held up as the last hope for a return to normalcy, misinformation about them is spreading.” There were false rumors, for example, about a British woman said to have died after a shot. Vaccine scientist Peter Hotez explains that “recent missteps,” like unrealistic timelines and the government’s response to the crisis, have “given vaccine skeptics ammunition.” In any case, Zhang laments, “by the time a vaccine is on the market, the worst of the coronavirus crisis may very well be over,” and — all the misinformation aside — a vaccine may feel like “too little, too late.”
— Compiled by The Post Editorial Board