Television slaps on ‘Expert’ labels on virtually every panelist that happens to be in the studio that particular day. There is something that happens in the minds of most people who see that word (‘Expert’), and it’s basically a fear reflex, of feeling diminished, inadequate, when compared to this ‘expert’ on the television set.
College degrees are quite often waived around as certificates that are supposed to excuse a person’s obnoxiousness, misinformed prejudice, and delusions of grandeur. A college degree, in my eyes, represents confirmation of someone’s ability to absorb and regurgitate, which I do not denigrate as such, but I will say it does not necessarily substantiate an individual’s intelligence, their ability to successfully engage in meaningful dialogue, or common sense to be able to adjust to new events or ideas which require novel thought or the skills necessary to grasp new concepts. I’ve had the opportunity to meet many individuals with a Bachelor’s or Master’s Degree who I’ve felt lacked a general ability to cope with daily life, who felt so threatened by any situation that had not been outlined in some manual or which had no set protocol. These individuals may have proven successful in examinations which asked for repetition of other people’s ideas and concepts, but lacked innate imagination, creativity, or the insight to think outside the box.
The great majority of subject matter, no matter how complex some may try to paint it, is understandable in a general sense, much of what politicians and the media do is attempt to conceal this fact, dirtying any basic and inclusive conversation with gratuitous technical jargon and lingo which is strictly thrown in the mix to purposefully exclude people from participating in the contouring of our world. This elitist mindset is very evident in a great majority of television broadcasts which showcase said ‘experts’ on various subject matters. They are introduced as such and much of the time are simply given airtime to present their opinions as mere facts, without question, without debate. The way many cable news shows are set up helps perpetuate the view the particular network wishes to relay. The host of these shows has a premeditated agenda, and employs sensationalist techniques, digressing from the topic at hand freely, making personal attacks, and does not allow ample time for rebuttal from guests who challenge their viewpoint.
All in all, one of our most important roles as individuals, as citizens of a nation, as members of the human race, is to remain in the know of that which occurs in our community, in our country, and in our world, despite it being increasingly difficult to find truth. There is strife in our world, but the degree to which it is inculcated in our minds and consciousness by the media of our day is extremely misguiding. There is a great deal of positive and progressive activity occurring every day, but the objective of those who offer us images of our world is to instill fear, disillusionment, and ultimately drive us to retreat from participating in the shaping of events and in the molding of our world. We must resist the temptation to give in to cynicism by remaining optimistic, being involved, by not being intimidated, and by expressing ourselves, which will help ensure a more balanced distribution of power and affluence. The alternative is much too sinister to contemplate. More than anything else, resilience perhaps paints the most accurate portrait of our species, and we can prove it with our ideas, our actions, and with our dreams.
J. González Solorio