The Perils of Data-Driven Politics

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Numbers reveal a lot, but they do not contain the whole truth.

NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE D ata analysis was back in fashion again this spring, with a nation hanging on the shape of infection curves and the reliability of predictive mathematical models. Then, it was back out of fashion, as the lockdowns of March gave way to the primal street violence of May. Both experiences should humble our view of the power of data.

Using data to inform the tasks of making public policy and persuading voters of its merits is a good thing, especially where hard, falsifiable science is concerned. It is good for conservatives to cultivate leaders, pundits, and spokesmen who are fluent in and


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