I believe in meritocracy. The concept that the best and brightest among us should be making the important decisions that affect everything and everyone. Certainly, they’ll be wrong on occasion. That’s human nature. But the odds are they’ll be right far more often than not and we’ll all be better off for it.
The nation was founded by experts in political theory. The documents they created, our Declaration of Independence and Constitution, have proven to be guiding lights not only for the United States but the world. And they were smart enough to recognize that their first attempt at a national compact was not working and hammer out something better.
Throughout our history, our reliance on meritocracy has worked well. There have been fits and starts, but the country has inexorably become more just. Our living standards have continuously improved and the opportunities our meritocracy created lured the world’s best to our shores.
Our meritocracy reached its zenith in the Cold War period. Experts in every field of human endeavor made breathtaking creations that made the USA the envy of the world. All of the technological marvels of our time, all of the medical breakthroughs, the 20 year Pax Americana all resulted from the effort of those experts.
But something has happened over the past 25 years. The experts have been wrong far more often than they’ve been right. What’s worse, they’ve been wrong about the Very Important Things, and that’s led to public policies that have diminished the nation as a whole. From failing to recognize the threat of Islamic extremism (and actually funding it!) to WMD in Iraq through “2 weeks to stop the spread,” I’m hard pressed to think of a single thing our current crop of experts got right.
Now our current experts have gone from simply being terribly wrong to being dangerously misguided. They tell us boys can be girls. The coastlines will be underwater – 10 years ago. That experimental medications are safer and more effective than fully tested ones. That people who can only afford to put a side of poor meat at dinner three times a week can spend 2 years of earnings on a car you can’t drive in large swaths of the country.
I’m waiting for the day they tell us the sky is green and grass is orange.
The simple fact is that for a generation, our meritocracy is less a society led by the best and brightest as much it is led by the politically connected. It’s time to put all of them – in government, in academia, in medicine, in science, in engineering, in every field and every occupation – out to pasture.