Experts Propose; Politicians Decide

“Some of the smartest people on earth have a significant presence on the Internet. Some of the stupidest people, however, reside just one click away.” (Tom Nichols, “How America Lost Faith in Expertise,” Foreign Affairs, March/April 2017.)

From taxation to terrorism, we often follow events haphazardly or don’t follow them at all, busy with other things. Yet if we don’t stay on top of the issues that affect our lives, we cede the outcomes to those who yell the loudest and receive the most attention.

It’s easy to do. We live in a complex world, difficult to grasp, not only for us but for our elected representatives as well.

How important, then, Nichols writes, “to choose representatives who can act wisely on our behalf,” representatives willing to listen to those with knowledge of a particular subject.

“Experts can only propose; elected leaders dispose. And politicians are very rarely experts on any of the innumerable subjects that come before them for a decision. . . . China policy and health care and climate change and immigration and taxation, all at the same time . . ..”

Forget those closed legislative sessions, shutting out both the public and those who spend their lives studying the issues that affect us.

As Senator John McCain recently pointed out, the most important consideration isn’t winning the next election but governing wisely for the people.

One thought on “  Experts Propose; Politicians Decide

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *