Wrong again? Sure, but better to be safe than sorry! According to Expert Political Judgment, this strategy
concedes error but, rather than minimizing the gap between expectation and reality, it depicts the error as the natural by-product of pursuing the right political priorities.
As one conservative defiantly declared, “Overestimating the staying power of the Soviet Communist Party was a wise thing to do, certainly wiser than underestimating it.”
Some liberals invoke a mirror image of this defense in defense of the…IMF loans to Russia in the 1990s. Much of the money may have been misdirected into Swiss bank accounts but, given the risks of allowing a nuclear superpower to implode financially, issuing the loans was…”the prudent thing to do.”
So, when wrong, merely point out that you were being judicious. Here’s the 9/11 version of this defense. If wrong about a 9/11 related threat, just say the following:
“Americans now understand that far-fetched threats can suddenly materialize and that if you want safety, you better be paranoid.” (135).
“Crying wolf is the price of vigilance.” (135).