In these ultra-partisan times, pundits often bemoan the decline of bipartisanship. I’ve done so myself. But we should remember that when the two parties agree on an issue, that doesn’t necessarily mean they are right. It could mean they are falling prey to a collective delusion.
In 1964, for example, Congress passed the Gulf of Tonkin resolution authorizing military action against North Vietnam. There were only two dissenting votes in the Senate and none in the House. Only later did it become clear that the factual basis of the resolution was fallacious (one of the two supposed North Vietnamese attacks on U.S. destroyers almost certainly did not occur) and that its impact was catastrophic: It would drag the United States into a losing war that left more than 58,000 Americans dead.
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