Magazine | November 21, 2016, Issue

Letters

Humble Experts

The widespread connotation of “elitist” is one of arrogance and a haughtiness born not of achievement in the trenches but of patrician privilege. However, I feel certain this was not the intent that “Masters of the Game” (Kevin D. Williamson, November 7) was meant to convey. Without altering the gist of the article, a substitution of “elite” and “elitist” with “expert” would have made for a much more palatable read.

While it can be agreed that there is a need for experts in running not only football teams but also many aspects of our country, experts tend to suffer from tunnel vision; they have neither the inclination nor the mandate to consider an enterprise outside of their particular purview. General managers and elected representatives, therefore, are vitally important to manage the experts, to stitch their expertise into the whole of the fabric.

As for Mr. Williamson’s assertion that talk-radio listeners or football fans (most of them average Joes) could no more do Paul Ryan’s work than Ben Roethlis­berger’s, it should be pointed out that these men are fallible, as we all are, and that they also achieved their current positions through on-the-job training. Thus the average Joe is quite capable of assuming such expert roles with time and experience.

The grousing of the average Joe is a necessary feedback mechanism in our democracy and should be encouraged. It should also be noted that grousing is what leads many to pursue a path to expertness.

Roy McCormick

Youngsville, N.C.

Kevin D. Williamson responds: “The average Joe is quite capable of assuming such expert roles with time and experience.” Along with a great deal of effort and a little bit of maturity. You can see my concern.

Corrections

“Dark Loyalties” (Ronald Radosh, November 7) asserted that, “freed by the regime, [Noel] Field chose to live in Czechoslovakia and help build the Communist system that had imprisoned him.” Field actually chose to live in Hungary.

Because of an editing error, “The Blue Wave” (Tim Alberta, November 7) cited two different figures for the percentage of Hispanics who voted for Mitt Romney in 2012. The correct figure is 27 percent. In addition, the percentage of Hispanics who voted Republican in 1984 was 37, not 34.

NR Editors includes members of the editorial staff of the National Review magazine and website.

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