The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Monday, June 06, 2022


Although it's been going on for quite some time, the COVID era has amplified the effects of ideological influence on expertise. Once respected expert groups (whether they come from the hard sciences, from financial institutions, from the corporate world, from select government agencies or heretofore respected private institutions) have beclowned themselves with incredibly bad policy recommendations, ideologically driven opinions, and in more than a few cases, outright, blatant dishonesty. Even worse, these "experts" have demonized others who have questioned their positions and worked with sympathetic media to cancel them by limiting their ability to communicate. 

Victor Davis Hansen writes: 

Do we remember those stellar economists who swore at a time of Biden’s vast government borrowing, increases in the monetary supply, incentivizing labor non-participation, and supply chain interruptions that there was no threat of inflation? Were they adherents of ideological “modern monetary theory”? Did they ignore their own training and experience in fealty to progressive creeds?

What about the Stanford doctors who signed a groupthink letter attacking their former colleague, Dr. Scott Atlas, because he questioned the orthodoxies of Dr. Anthony Fauci and the state bureaucracies—who we now know hid their own involvement with channeling funding to deadly gain-of-function research in Wuhan? Did they reject his views on empirical grounds and welcome a give-and-take shared inquiry—or simply wish to silence an ideological outlier and advisor to a despised counterrevolutionary?

Or how about the 50 retired intelligence “experts” who swore that Hunter Biden’s laptop was not genuine but likely Russian disinformation? Did they really rely on hundreds of years of collective expertise to adjudicate the laptop or did they simply wish to be rewarded with something comparable to a “Hero of Woke America” award?

Or what about the 1,000 medical “professionals” who claimed violating quarantine and protective protocols for Black Lives Matter demonstrations was vital for the mental health of the protestors? Or the Princeton creators of a video identifying Jonathan Katz as a sort of public enemy for the crime of stating that racial discrimination of any sort was toxic?

Experts should serve as referees, providing needed context for the falsehoods promulgated by dishonest politicians, rabid activists, and their trained hamsters in the media. Instead they have been co-opted to serve 'the narrative,' without regard to accuracy, honesty, or common sense.

As policies driven by supposedly "expert" opinion are enacted and ultimately crash and burn (consider, for example, the anti-fossil fuel policies of the Biden administration that have caused gas prices to double) trust in real expertise is lost. And when trust is gone, even the most knowledgeable experts see their influence wane. 

When that happens, we have no 'referees'—the game goes out of control.