DON’T LISTEN TO THE EXPERTS: Covid-19 in a world of elephants and long tusks

I have been hard on Mike DeWine through the entire Covid-19 outbreak not because he’s a bad person. He’s actually a good person, but he screwed up as a leader and listened to the experts without providing the kind of executive filtration needed in his position. So I say he should be impeached for abusing his emergency powers, costing the state of Ohio billions, and putting unnecessary hardship on each and every person trusting him and his decisions. Good people do dumb things and when they do, they get fired like everyone else. And his mistake was in turning over practically all decision making in response to the coronavirus outbreak to Amy Acton, a professional academic, and letting her set a liberal policy in how to react to a crisis as an unelected bureaucrat. Now, I’m a Republican, an old fashioned one and am used to the people around me not being as solid of a Republican as I am. If the elephant is the symbol of our party, I am that elephant off by himself grazing in the hot sun with tusks dragging on the ground. DeWine is that beat up soul huddled in the group that has been through a lot, he’s had his tusks cut off for poaching, he’s been mulled by lions and he’s certainly been weakened over the years so he is what we call a RINO Republican, he seeks the safety of the herd for his own reasons. I get it, but when he makes himself easy prey for attackers, then he is a threat to my party and philosophy, and he doesn’t have a right to do that, and that is precisely what he has done by bringing in professionals to run the state where he lacked the courage to do so himself.

When we look back on this Covid-19 crises it will be our trust in the “professionals” that got us into all the trouble and caused the trillions of dollars in damages. We’ve set our society up across the world to turn people into overly specialized experts in their fields of endeavor when in all actuality we have been doing it all wrong for well over a century. Experts are good for specificity, but often leadership requires many ways of looking at the same information and picking the best path, and over-specialization blinds even the best experts to the totality of needed leadership. In the case of the world-wide shut down the source of the problem was terrorist intentions to take advantage of the specialized class of doctors in the WHO, the attention starved CDC and all the state health directors and contaminate their trust in modeling with bad assumptions which then triggered a global panic. Once that happened and the experts were crippled and looking to cover their asses with more bad numbers to try to get out of the corners they painted themselves into, the terrorists were looking to inflict massive social change while the world was focused on what the experts would say next.

For many years, and I still have that toolbox in my shop at my house, I had a saying I held very true from the 9 ways of the samurai printed on the lid of my toolbox so I could see it every day. I worked at Cincinnati Milacron for a while when I was younger and got to know a lot of machinists and precision manufacturers where I learned a lot, but I always leaned on those 9 ways of the samurai to think above and beyond the problems that company went through as they gradually died before our very eyes. I would say the cause of death was over-specialization. As the industry changed, Cincinnati Milacron couldn’t make the switch because they were too specialized to adapt. But one of those 9 ways of the samurai is to know the way of all things. That means that a person should not be specialized in only one thing then fit themselves into the cogs of society to only do that one thing, whether it’s a lawyer, an accountant, a manager, a mother or father, a teacher—whatever. What is required, especially among anybody offering themselves as a leader is a person hungry for knowledge in all fields and to understand their ways and how they connect. You don’t have to be a master of all the topics, but to understand their flow and relationships. Most companies, or governments die because they are overly specialized and too in love with processes that create a world of specialization. When needed, they can’t think on their feet and are easy to defeat when challenged.

And that is where we find ourselves with this coronavirus nonsense. We have allowed specialized doctors to create policy instead of the debate our republic demands and now we have all kinds of trouble. The powers behind this virus outbreak put the pressure on President Trump who has a history of doing exactly as I have said, not trusting experts and making decisions based on a wide range of understanding that most CEOs can do. When the experts threatened to paint Trump with every death that came out of essentially an aggressive pneumonia outbreak, Trump took a step back and said OK, we’ll listen to the experts. Its an election year. He’s not going to let them hang this on his head when it was the experts who said that millions of people would be dead if we didn’t social distance. And then they backed that figure down to 200,000. Now that number as of this writing is going down further and Dr Doom himself is trying to blame the modeling that he built his whole case around. If I were Trump, I wouldn’t play that game, but he is after all a New York liberal. He’s new to the field of elephants. His tusks aren’t as big as mine, but he hasn’t had his cut off like DeWine has, so there is at least enough fight and logic in Trump to make something good of all this. But it was all so unnecessary, and all the pain was caused by “experts” who leveraged themselves onto the world stage, and now they are drowning by the attention.

Leadership, real leadership is where you listen to what experts say, but you consider all types of other information as well. Americans are not a society that will be ruled by some academic class, which is exactly what this Covid-19 outbreak is about. To watch Doctor Doom from the CDC contemplate the 10th Amendment and wonder why the federal government hasn’t shut down the entire country, he clearly doesn’t know enough about law to grapple with the scope of his desire. He may know something about colds and viruses as a professional doctor, but he clearly doesn’t understand constitutional law, or much of what drives human behavior. He has built his models around his academic view of the world and nothing else, and that has put us all in a perilous place because the rest of the medical community has followed him state to state blindly accepting his mistakes as our new reality. To know the art of all things, to fight a virus we must consider that it is the human immune system that we must bolster to fight off viruses and to do that vitamin D is important (sunshine). Happiness in general. Good food, optimism, there are lots of factors to consider. We could easily say that following these doctor’s orders has likely spread the virus by lowering everyone’s immune systems in such a passive state. Specialists who are only thinking about lives saved and can only think in the means of a process struggle when the true answer is outside of those questions such as what factors make a life—a life? Someone pent up scared in their homes waiting on a government led by doctors to save them or a self-empowered person acting cautiously and doing all the right things to build themselves up to combat the virus with their own immune systems, which way is the best path? The push for a centralized solution ultimately is what caused all the deaths if we want to blame them on anything. The “slow the spread” tactic came up by these experts has only delayed the inevitable, which was their push to highlight socialized desires in the healthcare system, at the expense of all our happiness and good living.

If we listen to the doctors they would have us all wearing helmets each time we go outside, putting on masks so that ugly people feel more equal to pretty people, and they’d have us all having sex in hazmat suits. They are not leaders, only considerations. They become problems when we make leaders out of them and when they are, they destroy everything in sight every single time. There is no instance on earth or in world history where an overly specialized society ever thrived, and it never will in the future. Leadership remains an elusive science, but when a politician like DeWine accepts a leadership role then turns it over to a process driven specialist like Amy Acton, and she screws everything up, its his fault. You don’t surrender leadership over to experts who are too specialized to see the big picture. And that is precisely why every single American, and many around the world are suffering right now, because leadership was left to those least able to conduct it.

Rich Hoffman

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