When Andrew Jackson came into office as president, he felt it important to bring a whole bevy of new people in with him. He kicked out a lot of career politicos and bureaucrats ostensibly because he believed in something called rotation in office. This was the idea that one need not have any special expertise to serve in government. Mind you, this was a time when not a few people were illiterate, but that didn’t seem to bother Jackson.
Fast forward to today when the same kind of ridicule for those with specialized knowledge seems to be on the rise. Why would we trust the vast majority of scientists on any specific issue? Surely they are in league with some conspiracy in order to take over the world, even if they are from all over and don’t conduct research together. Am I talking about climate change or evolution? No -- I’m talking about the flat earthers. Yes, you read that right, there are people who actually believe that the earth is flat, and that all the pictures from outer space and the creation of the Global Positioning System are in cahoots to pull the wool over our eyes. I didn’t really get why these experts were in cahoots; that’s apparently not important to the flat earth “movement.”
You can maybe imagine the level of righteous incredulity I had when watching this story on CBS Sunday Morning recently. I mean seriously -- why are they even spending time sharing this information? Just because the internet allowed a few people to find each other and concoct this effort doesn’t mean we should report it. But it all brought to mind the zeitgeist we are living in now where all ideas are equally valid no matter their accuracy or standing. All ideas can be shared. That’s what the internet has done, democratize information, and don’t you support democracy?
Well, truthfully, I support an educated democracy or I wouldn’t be doing what I do. I believe that people who have gone to school for certain things know more stuff about those things than I do. I don’t do my own taxes because I trust a CPA to get that done. I don’t get on just any plane to fly. I choose one that has a trained pilot.
In that same vein, I am looking to elect people who have demonstrated their long-standing dedication to the public good. I want to elect people who understand that the only way to maintain a democracy is to ensure it’s an educated democracy. If they are running for a job such as a judge, I would like to know that they have some legal expertise. Why would people not want that?
So, early voting started today -- go to the Oklahoma County Election Board on N. Lincoln Boulevard today, tomorrow, or Saturday and cast your vote early.
Your polling place will be open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 6.
Don’t forget to read up on state questions so you can make an informed decision. That may not make you an expert on them, but you’ll be a heck of a lot better off if you do. And so will Oklahoma!