Victor Davis Hanson sees how pessimists can claim victory even when better news happens.
If the Eeyores are proven right, then, they are seen as not only prescient but sanctified — the voices in the wilderness who spoke the inconvenient truths that saved lives.
The sunnier prognosticators suffer a lose-lose dilemma rather than the pessimist’s win-win chances. If one doubts these original nightmarish Imperial College worst-case predications of 2 million-plus deaths in the United States, and is proven correct, it matters little. The pessimist argues that it was only his bleak forecasts that changed behaviors and that, without such changes, the optimist’s obviously faulty data and poor reasoning would have led policymakers over a cliff.