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Mike Barnhill

Ashland

Dear Editor:

I recently read a quote attributed to either economist John Maynard Keynes or Pail Samuelson that should serve as a guiding light for anyone trying to make a wise decision. "When my information changes, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?"

We human beings hate being wrong — hate it with a passion. Even the most successful people often have brittle egos that can't withstand a change of mind, no matter how much contrary information pours in.

Whether or not you agree with ending the 20-year-old Afghanistan war, two things are clear: President Biden entered office believing that Afghanistan was not worth further sacrifice by its military personnel. When U.S. generals and analysts warned that the Afghan army and government could rapidly collapse, Biden dismissed the risk.

He certainly didn't expect the rapid disintegration of local Afghan government and armed services to Taliban forces with forced evacuation of American and Afghan allies. Biden's failure to accept the facts makes America's 20-year war in Afghanistan all the more disgusting and hurtful.

But Donald Trump, President Biden's predecessor, was unmatched in his refusal to absorb information that contradicted his whims and perceived ideas.

When COVID hit, Trump insisted it would magically "go away." That led to hundreds of thousands of unnecessary deaths.

Several Republican governors are carrying on the Trump tradition, insisting that vaccination, masks and not infecting others is a matter of "personal or freedom of choice" even as the states most affected are those with the highest percentage on non-compliance of COVID therapy.

Millions of Americans are still insisting, against mountains of evidence, that getting a shot is more dangerous than getting COVID.

I suppose they'd rather be hospitalized or dead than change their minds.

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