Kaufman: Return of the self-deluded technocrats

If low-growth and high-regulation didn't help Americans a decade ago, how will they work in the COVID-19 era? Why should we return to this malaise?

Are you excited for the Biden-Harris administration? Unlike the pitiable media, I am not.

And it’s not just because I worry about the Georgia Senate races or fear the authoritarian VP-elect will eventually invoke the 25th Amendment and push her way into power she doesn’t merit.

Whatever President Donald Trump’s shortcomings, thankfully he was not a technocrat, nor politically correct, and not enamored with nonsensical crusades like the “Great Reset.”

I am not a populist, but this is where I get my anti-elitist groove on. Even the British rejected technocracy during Brexit the same year American voters rebuked it when they elected Trump. And the GOP’s incredible successes in the 2020 House races show that voters of all stripes dislike rule-by-intelligentsia.

Writing at an economics blog, Zack Yost recently elaborated on technocracy:

“Technocracy serves as a useful veneer to cover the lust for power and domination that motivates most political actors. On paper, it can be understood as ‘rule by the smart,’ but in actual practice, this is merely a myth to justify one class of society maintaining power and control over everyone else. Buoyed by the magic word ‘science,’ ‘experts’ claim to possess final knowledge and make pronouncements on truth with the authority of holy writ. Those who dissent, no matter how educated or reasonable their disagreement, are bludgeoned with slurs of being a ‘science denier’ as if science were a sacred canon rather than a process of inquiry constantly evolving and changing. Those who disagree with the technocratic consensus are not merely wrong, they are opposed to the inevitable and inexorable march of progress and history itself, which the technocrats have themselves foreseen.”

Joe Biden recently appointed John Kerry, Neera Tanden, Janet Yellen and assorted technocrats from a generation ago to his Cabinet. And if the president-elect doesn’t choose Bernie Sanders for labor secretary, he may tap someone almost as radical in a racialist who led George Soros’ nefarious efforts the last three years.

For diplomacy, it’s Tony Blinken, Obama’s deputy national-security adviser; and likely Michèle Flournoy — who mismanaged counterinsurgency strategy in Afghanistan and botched 2011 military endeavors in Libya — for defense. His DNI choice, Avril Haines, buys into J-Street’s anti-Israel balderdash, signing a letter this year complaining that the current administration’s regional peace plan “undermines the US-Israel special relationship and harms Palestinians.” (As usual, J-Street misleads; the framework for a two-state solution is in the Trump plan.)

But these three appointments seem effectual compared to Linda Thomas-Greenfield as U.N. ambassador. She is a lifelong diplomat more interested in social justice and outsourcing our morals to the UN, than standing with our allies and against rogue nations like ChinaCuba and Iran. For good measure, Biden also appointed a bigot to help lead his communications team.

Democrats, who are mostly illiberal, and haven’t “challenged authority” in 60 years, continue to revere flawed concepts like multilateralism, which can be anathema to progress.

Biden wants to go back to Obama’s feeble economic recovery too. The last administration let Wall Street off the hook, left the poor to drown in mortgages, and crushed small businesses with Obamacare edicts. Never mind the massive rise in food stamp usage and student loan debt — which should now be “canceled” to aid the affluent — while home ownership and labor participation cratered.

If low-growth and high-regulation didn’t help Americans a decade ago, how will they work in the COVID-19 era? Why should we return to this malaise? We’d surely never have the miracle coronavirus vaccines under ponderous left-wing policies.

Combine this with the anti-speech woke mobs, BLM hustlerspro-totalitarian big businesses, and the “Defund Police” crowd, and I doubt most Americans prefer this setup.

Instead we believe liberty, sovereignty and constitutions are not passé.

In 2010, the voters responded to Barack Obama’s first two years by flipping the House to the Republicans. I believe they will do similarly in 2022.