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VICTOR JOECKS: The crumbling of elitist credibility

From Israel to masks to wildfires, last week shredded whatever credibility elitists had left.

At the White House on Tuesday, Israel signed a historic peace deal with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain. Those are the first two Persian Gulf States to establish normal relationships with Israel. President Donald Trump said several other Arab nations, including Saudi Arabia, may do the same. If Trump were a Democrat, he’d be a shoo-in for a Nobel Peace Prize.

The Abraham Accords come after liberal voices spent years telling the public that Trump’s approach to the Middle East would produce violence, not peace.

If Trump moved the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, “you’d have an explosion, an absolute explosion in the region,” former Secretary of State John Kerry predicted in 2017. Perhaps he meant an explosion of peace. Former CIA Director John Brennan said Trump “destroyed the U.S. peacemaker role” with the embassy move.

Turns out a reality-TV star turned politician did more for Middle East peace than a whole generation of supposed experts.

Then there was the testimony on Wednesday of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert Redfield. “Face masks are the most important, powerful public health tool we have,” he said. He added, “I might even go so far as to say this face mask is more guaranteed to protect me against COVID than when I take a COVID vaccine.”

Leave aside that questioning the efficacy of vaccines will normally get you labeled a science denier. Redfield had a different take in February. During a congressional hearing, he said you shouldn’t wear a mask if you’re healthy.

Redfield wasn’t alone in actively discouraging mask use. U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams and Dr. Anthony Fauci made similar comments early in the pandemic. Fauci has acknowledged he was dishonest about masks because he wanted to prevent shortages for health care workers.

The wildfires devastating the West Coast provide yet another example. Every time a conservative uses a cold spell to critique global warming, liberals fire up a lecture on how an isolated incident isn’t climate. But the standard is different for a bad fire season.

The Washington Post called the West Coast fires “blazes fueled by climate change.” Funny. “2019 was a relatively mild fire season,” according to Cal Fire. Maybe climate change took a year off.

Democrat presidential nominee Joe Biden doubled down. “If you give a climate arsonist four more years in the White House, why would anyone be surprised if we have more America ablaze?” he said Monday.

Seems Barack Obama forgot to take care of this when he stopped the oceans from rising. Whatever you think about global warming, the key to stopping large-scale fires is better forest management, including controlled burns.

These are only the things that happened this week. Political elitists now believe that a man can be pregnant, but that it’s impossible to know when life begins. They believe that police are systemically racist absent statistical evidence. They argue that Black Lives Matter protests don’t spread the coronavirus but Trump rallies do. That riots are “fiery but mostly peaceful protests.”

There’s a difference between being elite and elitism. Elitism is when you think that your expertise makes you more qualified to run someone else’s life than they are. It’s when you think lying to the masses and double standards in pursuit of the greater good — as determined by you and your ilk — are OK. It’s when you’re so confined in your bubble that you toss aside biological realities in favor of the latest PC buzzwords.

This doesn’t mean elitists are wrong about everything, although it can feel that way. The past week provided numerous reasons to be skeptical of what political elitists consider conventional wisdom.

— Contact Victor Joecks at vjoecks@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-4698.

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