August 15, 2020
Be afraid of knowledge and expertise.
When did “elite” become a dirty word? Why is it that our society is becoming so mistrustful of its brightest minds? A member of the Idaho State Senate named Steven Thayn (who seems entirely innocent of being elite) had this to say, “Listening to experts to set policy is an elitist approach and I’m very fearful of an elitist approach.”
This would be a worrisome comment out of anyone’s mouth, but coming from someone in a position of power, it’s genuinely terrifying. When I saw this quote, I was shocked. Somewhere, in an alternate cartoon universe, my jaw literally hit the floor. Empowering those who are afraid of taking advice from experts will always be a mistake. Those with the power to make decisions that will affect us all need to understand the decisions they are making. When our leaders discount opinions because they are informed, we are doing something terribly wrong.
Intelligence and education are not things to be afraid of. A high IQ, or years of study are not things that make a person diabolical. It is ok that there are people smarter than most. Higher education is not something to be scorned. We should utilize these minds just as we do the hands of a gifted musician, or the skills of elite military units. The public is not being victimized by experts; it is being thrown a lifeline. Swimming away is not a good choice.
If an intellectual elite wants to come manage my life, consider this your written invitation.