The Dangers of Elite Groupthink
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Thread: The Dangers of Elite Groupthink

  1. #1
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    Default The Dangers of Elite Groupthink

    VICTOR DAVIS HANSON
    JANUARY 1, 2020


    The Washington Post recently published a surprising indictment of MSNBC host, Stanford graduate and Rhodes scholar Rachel Maddow.

    Post media critic Erik Wemple wrote that Maddow deliberately misled her audience by claiming the now-discredited Steele dossier was largely verifiable -- even at a time when there was plenty of evidence that it was mostly bogus.

    At the very time Maddow was reassuring viewers that Christopher Steele was believable, populist talk radio and the much-criticized Fox News Channel were insisting that most of Steele's allegations simply could not be true. Maddow was wrong. Her less degreed critics proved to be right.

    In 2018, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), and the committee's then-ranking minority member, Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), each issued contrasting reports of the committee's investigation into allegations of collusion between Russia and Donald Trump's campaign team and the misbehavior of federal agencies.

    Schiff's memo was widely praised by the media. Nunes' report was condemned as rank and partisan.

    Many in the media went further. They contrasted Harvard Law graduate Schiff with rural central Californian Nunes to help explain why the clever Schiff got to the bottom of collusion and the "former dairy farmer" Nunes was "way over his head" and had "no idea what's going on."

    Recently, the nonpartisan inspector general of the Department of Justice, Michael Horowitz, found widespread wrongdoing at the DOJ and FBI. He confirmed the key findings in the Nunes memo about the Steele dossier and its pernicious role in the FISA application seeking a warrant against former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.

    In contrast, much of what the once-praised Schiff had claimed to be true was proven wrong by Horowitz -- from Schiff's insistence that the FBI verified the Steele dossier to his assertion that the Department of Justice did not rely chiefly on the dossier for its warrant application.

    When special counsel Robert Mueller formed an investigatory team, he stocked it with young, progressive Washington insiders, many with blue-chip degrees and resumes.

    The media swooned. Washington journalists became giddy over the prospect of a "dream team" of such "all-stars" who would demolish the supposedly far less impressively credentialed Trump legal team.

    We were assured by a snobbish Vox that "Special counsel Robert Mueller's legal team is full of pros. Trump's team makes typos."

    Yet after 22 months and $32 million worth of investigation, Mueller's team found no Russian collusion and no evidence of actionable Trump obstruction during the investigation of that non-crime. All the constant media reports that "bombshell" Mueller team disclosures were imminent and that the "walls are closing in" on Trump proved false.

    Mueller himself testified before Congress, only to appear befuddled and almost clueless at times about his own investigation. Many of his supposedly brightest all-stars, such as Lisa Page, Peter Strzok and Kevin Clinesmith, had to leave his dream team due to unethical behavior.

    In contrast, Trump's widely derided chief lawyers -- 69-year-old Ty Cobb, 78-year-old John Dowd, and 63-year-old radio and TV host Jay Sekulow -- stayed out of the headlines. They advised Trump to cooperate with the Mueller team and systematically offered evidence and analyses to prove that Trump did not collude with the Russian to warp the 2016 election. In the end, Mueller's "hunter-killer team" was forced to agree.

    When the supposed clueless Trump was elected, a number of elites pronounced his economic plans to be absurd. We were told that Trump was bound to destroy the U.S. economy.

    Former Princeton professor and Nobel Prize winner Paul Krugman insisted that Trump would crash the stock market. He even suggested that stocks might never recover.

    Former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers said Trump would bring on a recession within a year and a half.

    The former head of the National Economic Council, Steven Rattner, predicted a market crash of "historic proportions."

    In contrast, many of Trump's economic advisers during his campaign and administration, including outsider Peter Navarro, pundit Steven Moore, former TV host Larry Kudlow and octogenarian Wilbur Ross, were caricatured.

    Yet three years later, in terms of the stock market, unemployment, energy production and workers' wages, the economy has been doing superbly.

    The point of these sharp contrasts is not that an Ivy League degree or a Washington reputation is of little value, or that prestigious prizes and honors account for nothing, or even that supposed experts are always unethical and silly.

    Instead, one lesson is that conventional wisdom and groupthink tend to mislead, especially in the age of online echo chambers and often sheltered and blinkered elite lives.

    We forget that knowledge can be found at all ages, and in all places. And ethics has nothing to do with degrees or pedigrees.




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    Those in the ivory tower think they are always right just because they are in the ivory tower.

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    They will never be able to predict the future with Trump in office. Past presidents gave a damn what the media and the talking heads and consultants thought.
    Trump does not give a rat's ass. He does what he thinks is right for America. If it succeeds he is right, even if he gets no credit. If it fails you will never hear the end of it.
    But he will always have the ivory tower folks on the ropes

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    "that prestigious prizes and honors account for nothing,"

    You have to take into account the qualifications of the people who actually bestow those honors and prizes, or to put it plainly, consider the source.

    "We forget that knowledge can be found at all ages, and in all places. And ethics has nothing to do with degrees or pedigrees"

    Agree! Bill Gates is a college dropout, but he is one of the richer men in the USA, there are other noted people who have raisen to the top of their field that did not have a college degree.
    Progressive = The new Political Correct name for a Communist

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    Try to recall all the "pollsters" (the Frank Luntz's and Karl Rove's), talking heads and pundits who were actually completely wrong or could not be counted on to even remotely predict that Trump would win election in 2016. Well, they "are back", actually having never left, and they are blathering nonsense again, just as they did back in 2015 and 2016. These people should be "Fired" by all of us as "selections" to listen to or watch as news sources in 2020.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stevejet View Post
    Try to recall all the "pollsters" (the Frank Luntz's and Karl Rove's), talking heads and pundits who were actually completely wrong or could not be counted on to even remotely predict that Trump would win election in 2016. Well, they "are back", actually having never left, and they are blathering nonsense again, just as they did back in 2015 and 2016. These people should be "Fired" by all of us as "selections" to listen to or watch as news sources in 2020.
    I fired then long ago, I do not waste my time turning into those bad comedy channels that are supposed to be "news channels", such as NBC, ABC, CBS, CNN, and the worse of them MSNBC.
    Progressive = The new Political Correct name for a Communist

    A gun on your hip is like the insurance you pay every month that you hope never have to use.

    You can vote yourself into Socialism, but you will have to fight your way out of it! - Bearing Arms. com

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    I read this once....a lot of truth.

    Herding liberals is like herding sheep, herding conservatives is like herding cats.
    Popeye likes this.

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