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:
- Political party designees working in bipartisan groups of three to perform a hand count audit of over 47,000 votes. Those votes matched the machine count 100%
- A post-election tabulation accuracy test, overseen by both the Arizona Secretary of State and the political parties, to make sure the tabulation machines weren't manipulated during the election
- The hiring of two, experienced, reputable, certified companies to test that the tabulators hadn't connected to the internet, hadn't been hacked or manipulated, hadn't somehow misread ballots and didn't have any malware installed
- The assessment of a sample of affidavit signatures as proof of identity by multiple handwriting experts
- Eight court cases alleging different widespread flaws or fraud, all of which ultimately failed
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