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August 30, 2018

Trust Your Betters: The Expert Tom Nichols Says That Rewarding Democrats with Congress Will Make Them More Moderate; David French Says There's a "Huge Knowledge Gap" Between Trump Supporters and His Fellow Liberals

Tom Nichols*, an "expert" of the sort who offers his expertise for free on Twitter, as one does, now expands his infinitely-expansive expertise to cover political game theory, and claims that handing Democrats both houses of Congress will force them to become more moderate.

Because, you see, once they have full political power, they will not take that as a signal to become even more leftwing, but will be forced to moderate in order to keep their seats.

I guess this was NeverTrump's reasoning for trying to gift Hillary Clinton with the presidency -- if you deliver her the presidency, she'll have to be super-moderate to get reelected.

Hey, it worked perfectly with Barack Obama, so let's give it another try!

Update: A commenter asks of The Expert Tom Nichols: if giving Democrats further power will cause them to moderate, why should it not be the case that voting more Republicans into Congress will cause them to moderate as well?

I guess my commenters are actually More Experty Experts than The Expert himself.

Or maybe Tom Nichols is just another one of those partisan liberal Democrats pretending to be a rock-ribbed Republican on Twitter in order to better subvert Republicans.

And now for David French, the Only True Conservative on That Stage (which is MSNBC, by the way):

* Tom Nichols is one of the #SalonHot25 who wrote a book, much publicized by the left and NeverTrumpers (but I repeat myself), called "The Death of Expertise," which argues that people must not speak outside their areas of credentialed expertise and must always defer to "experts." Because conservatives refuse to subordinate themselves to self-declared "experts," Nichols says they're anti-learning and anti-thinking.

Notably, though Tom Nichols himself only has a narrow field of expertise -- if that -- specifically, Russia and Russia policy, he routinely opines on what he incorrectly believes the law to be, what he incorrectly believes political strategy to be, etc., etc., etc.

For a guy who's chief claim of to expertise is penning a book claiming that no man should speak out except in his narrow area of credential expertise -- well, Nichols sure the hell does ignore his own thesis and awful lot. Almost as if his thesis is not really "defer to experts in their field of expertise" but "defer to people who claim to be smarter than you are," which is a group of people of some billions.

And many of these people are on twitter, once again offering their "expertise" without asking for payment for it -- as experts do.

Oh, one more interesting thing about Tom Nichols --

while he pretends to be anti-conspiracy theory, he is Thirsty to be on TV, and appears on the Science Channel's NASA's Unexplained Files, which credits him as a "National Security Analyst," presumably an Expert, which I'm sure gets his ego hard.

The show is basically an In Search Of... style show which frequently promotes UFO conspiracy theories. It does feature real science and real NASA history too, but...

...Yeah, it also features a lot of alien-baiting.

It plays at "balance," offering "both sides" of the UFO debate. But they definitely make sure they cover the UFOs Are Totally Real side of the "debate" with a fair amount of I-Want-to-Believe sympathy.

They're not saying it's aliens, but, as a wise man once said: It's aliens.

Now, The Expert himself doesn't say things are due to aliens. He is there to provide a veneer of "expertise" so that the next couple of guys can claim it's aliens while seeming to be part of a Real Documentary.

Like, The Expert will offer a very brief Wikipedia run-down on, just making up an example here, the Cuban Missile Crisis to set up a UFO conspiracist to ask, "Was Lee Harvey Oswald actually a Grey?"

In my opinion, he's lending his Expert credibility -- such as it may be -- to a show that also wants to imply that aliens are totes real.

Dramatization: What if Amelia Earhardt didn't disappear over the ocean at all?

The following clip provides a funny example of the show's style and POV. Tom Nichols was not on the show at this time -- he signed up to appear on this alien-baiting show for four seasons, but after this season -- but you can see the show's fair-and-balanced take on UFOs here.

The clip is about the so-called "Dragon's Triangle," or "Pacific Bermuda Triangle," where, the narrator informs us, many mysterious apparitions have been reported. The narrator then tells us that in less-sophisticated times, sailors attributed these apparitions to "dragons and demons."

But now the author of "The Dragon's Triangle" can dispel that superstitious tomfoolery -- because now we can say with a high level of confidence that the apparitions are actually sightings of alien UFOs.

So, you know, I haven't kept up with the show, but this is the show that the TV-Thirsty, Wannabe-Famous Tryhard Tom Nichols signed up to pose as an "expert" on.

AlexTheChick Confirms:

Unexplained Files is what I watch while I am in between Ancient Aliens episodes. It's full on UFOs are real dudes. I mean, it's tons of fun and it has information buried under the we're not saying it was aliens but it was aliens but it's complete brain candy.

Bonus Expertise from Rob Crawford:

French's "knowledge gap" is an appeal to secret knowledge. Basically, he's shoveling a conspiracy theory.

Yes, these guys do seem to "know" a lot of things not reflected in the public record.

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posted by Ace of Spades at 03:51 PM

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