What happened to trusting experts?

What happened to trusting experts?

Posted: Sep 23, 2021 12:01 AM
Updated: Sep 23, 2021 12:01 AM

Expertise matters.

When I hurt my knee, I went to an orthopedic surgeon. When I built my house, I hired an architect. I give my taxes to an accountant, my teeth to a dentist, my car to the Nissan dealership and my hair to Great Clips (there's not much left of it anyway).

These people have experience, education, certificates and recommendations.

And yet, in the arena of government and public policy, many no longer seem to care about expertise.

Over the past year, much of the country has ignored the consensus health advice of epidemiologists and virologists, instead putting stock in random YouTube videos and internet conspiracy theorists.

In schools, the opinion of teachers about how kids best learn no longer matters to some.

Average Joes somehow know better, despite the fact that "Joe" hasn't set foot in a high school classroom since he graduated at age 18.

Regarding whatever the most recent Supreme Court opinion may be, many Twitter users happily subscribe to the catchy analysis of somebody who hasn't gone to law school, has never practiced appellate law, has never written about appellate law and has seemingly not even read the Court's opinion.

Perhaps some of this is understandable. Bureaucratic experts have failed the country and even lied on several occasions.

President Joe Biden promised to listen to experts for White House decision-making, and yet commentators of all political stripes agree that the Afghanistan withdrawal was a deadly demonstration of incompetence.

And the past year and a half has produced a confusing, ever-changing and sometimes contradicting series of edicts on Covid from the local, state and federal officials.

We must demand better from our public policy and government experts. We must make sure people in government leadership positions are installed due to their abilities, not because of the political favors they offer or because of the donations they've made. We need to make sure decisions come from groups of experts and aren't derailed by the ego or intellectual prejudices of one person. We also need better ways of assessing government bureaucratic experts. And we need to be able to immediately and easily fire government employees should they fail.

But regarding expertise, we shouldn't throw the baby out with the bathwater.

You wouldn't do this in your personal life. If an auto repair shop failed you once, you wouldn't react by taking your car repair to somebody who had never before worked on a car.

Unfortunately, that's essentially what has happened to elections in Arizona.

Following the November 2020 presidential election, Arizona worked to ensure the integrity and accuracy of the vote. The number of checks and tests run are too numerous to exhaust in this article, but they include:


Despite all of this, Arizona state senators launched a "forensic audit." To conduct the review, the senators skipped over experienced, credentialed companies and chose Cyber Ninjas, a relatively unknown cybersecurity company from Sarasota, Florida.

Prior to Arizona, Cyber Ninjas had no elections experience and had done zero election audits. Zero.

And the company's actions have raised questions about it being partisan.

Cyber Ninjas reportedly recruited a GOP candidate on the November ballot and an attendee of the January 6 riot.

Stop The Steal advocates and prominent supporters of Donald Trump's election lies have raised more than $5.7 million for Cyber Ninjas. The state senate only gave Cyber Ninjas $150,000 to conduct the ballot review.

Cyber Ninjas hasn't been transparent. They refuse to disclose information regarding their auditing practices, and they only allowed limited media access.

The company has not followed standard auditing procedures and has been widely denounced for its bizarre ballot examination methods.

But this is also a group led by conspiracy theorists. Cyber Ninjas' CEO Doug Logan gave voice to the theory that dead Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez had something to do with the 2020 election. And the Ninjas implemented ludicrous auditing methodologies, some promoted by QAnon theorists.

Even worse, Logan appeared in a conspiracy theory film called "Deep Rig" while doing the audit. That film is directed by a guy who previously directed a movie alleging extraterrestrial involvement in 9/11 and that the Nazis had a moon base. Seriously. A Nazi moon base.

Finally, and worst of all, Cyber Ninjas' CEO claimed on Twitter — before even beginning his Arizona audit — that the entire 2020 election, including Arizona, was stolen. (He deleted his account earlier in the year.)

In an April statement, he said that "The big question should not be 'am I biased,' but 'Will this audit be transparent, truthful and accurate?' The answer to the latter question is a resounding 'Yes.'"

But in an August letter to the CEO, members of the House Oversight and Reform Committee wrote "Cyber Ninjas failed to produce key documents responsive to the Committee's requests, including the company's communications with former President Trump, his allies and advisors, and the partisan dark money groups that financed this audit."

After repeated delays, the audit report is due to be released on September 24.

Experts fail us on occasion. Some may even lie to us. But that doesn't mean we should dispense with all ordinary qualifications and hand the keys of the car over to somebody without a driver's license. You wouldn't do this with your personal life, and we shouldn't do it with our government.

The-CNN-Wire
™ & © 2021 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

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Lake712531225
Allen65537867
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Vanderburgh34221495
Tippecanoe30237271
Johnson27179463
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Warrick11995189
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Floyd11869225
Grant11701235
Morgan10252188
Boone9675120
Noble9069121
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Dubois8710139
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Montgomery6910123
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Steuben654186
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Ohio Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 1683472

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Franklin1766331826
Cuyahoga1641462636
Hamilton1122641528
Montgomery794721387
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Butler55878803
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Licking26200335
Medina25291351
Fairfield24173287
Greene24051369
Clark21653387
Portage20709280
Richland20587336
Wood19626246
Allen18542320
Miami17031348
Columbiana16502331
Muskingum16416206
Wayne15432304
Tuscarawas14086357
Marion13054194
Erie12423198
Ashtabula12314225
Scioto12235182
Pickaway12070151
Ross11487223
Hancock11256173
Geauga10666174
Lawrence10504171
Belmont10259231
Huron9588155
Jefferson9462225
Union939175
Sandusky9068166
Seneca8692156
Knox8618169
Washington8613156
Athens827396
Darke8270179
Ashland7840147
Auglaize7741115
Shelby7337132
Defiance7210114
Crawford7082150
Brown7052115
Fulton7016111
Logan6857108
Mercer681697
Guernsey680283
Highland6615117
Madison641389
Clinton6388106
Williams628798
Preble6171139
Putnam6089120
Jackson572396
Champaign568286
Perry558879
Coshocton5552103
Ottawa553599
Morrow506464
Fayette483170
Hardin477899
Gallia462978
Pike459076
Van Wert454691
Adams4514109
Henry424976
Hocking401493
Holmes3939137
Wyandot367973
Carroll351578
Paulding319349
Meigs302457
Monroe231860
Noble216447
Morgan210138
Harrison205152
Vinton183937
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