I find myself living in a world where I am constantly surrounded by people who are smarter than me. You are surrounded by these people too. I am not referring to genuine intellectuals like Neil DeGrasse Tyson, Gary Kasparov, or Bill Gates. Those folks are certainly smarter than both of us combined. I am talking about the average person, like your neighbor, boss, friend, or ex-wife.
Why does everyone think they are so fucking smart?
A few days ago, the governor of New Jersey announced that he would extend the executive order regarding COVID-19 for another 30 days. The “smart” people slithered out of the woodwork to assert their opinions on the subject.
I could share a thousand tweets just like these, but I’ll save you the time and potential damage it could do to your brain. Governor Murphy’s tweet is intended to reassure people that his goal is to save lives. Unfortunately, 80% of the responses are from people who believe they are smarter than the governor and all of his constituents.
I am no expert on the subject of flattening the curve, and more importantly, how to successfully run a state, in the middle of a pandemic or otherwise. But, I think that when you are in the position to heed the guidance of someone who is surrounded by people who are smarter than you and educated on the subject at hand, you should listen. I am not only referring to people bashing democrats. Plenty of “smart” people have expressed discontent with how President Trump is handling this public health and economic crisis.
I am not for a second implying that Donald Trump, Phil Murphy, or any other elected official is more intelligent than you (although they probably are smarter than 80% of their Twitter followers). However, they are surrounded by doctors, epidemiologists, statisticians, historians, and a myriad of other people who are most definitely smarter than you. And while you may not agree with their decisions on how to best protect the citizens of this country, you should give them the chance to do the job in which they were elected before judging them with your predisposed biases.
Don’t get me wrong, you may or may not be one of these so-called “smart” people I am referring to. In fact, there is a good chance that I am one. It depends on who you ask, really. I have a friend who respects my opinion, enjoys a spirited debate with me on any subject, and refers to me as extremely open-minded. Alternatively, my ex-wife told me that I never listened, lacked empathy, and thought that I was a know-it-all. Ain’t that a bitch.
Are we handling this crisis with the appropriate actions, precautions, and fortitude that is required to come out stronger than before? Only time will tell. And even then, there will be people who presume they are smarter and could have done it better. If you are one of those “smart” people, please remind me again, why aren’t you the governor?