Does expertise matter anymore?

Kent Kroeger
8 min readMay 11, 2018

By Kent. R. Kroeger (May 12, 2018)

The Scarecrow from the Wizard of Oz receiving his diploma

Radio personality Howard Stern once explained why actors are so deeply insecure and narcissistic: “They work in a business where they can spend years studying and practicing their craft and then still lose a movie role to some good-looking dick off the street that has never taken acting lessons.”

Before landing his first movie role (in George Lucas’ American Graffiti), Harrison Ford had as much training as an actor as I do — which is to say, none.

Some jobs simply don’t require years of study and experience.

Which is why we may be seeing a hardening in the Democrats’ resistance to President Donald Trump in tandem with a grudging acknowledgement, even among his most ardent critics, that his apparent incompetence hasn’t resulted in the fall of the American Republic.

Quite the opposite, America is booming, which only feeds a growing antipathy towards Trump among people that believe in the virtues of a meritocracy.

Even some of Trump’s supporters acknowledge the man is experientially-challenged.

Yet, there he is on TV, preening for the press corps as he welcomes home three Americans following their captivity in North Korea. These three men would not be home right now if not for Trump’s Twitter diplomacy.

Serious people must ask themselves, if Donald Trump can be a successful president, who is unqualified to hold the office? Does a dissertation-length resume actually work against politicians in today’s anti-establishment political environment.

If Trump succeeds, it undercuts the political establishment’s principle argument to voters since the Great Depression: You need our expertise.

The corollary is that because the political establishment exists to solve society’s problems, it is always against the establishment’s self-interest to actually solve any problems.

Along comes Trump: A man utterly lacking in the supposed temperament and competencies required to be the leader of the Free World.

Former Bill Clinton adviser James Carville describes Trump’s core competencies like this: “He doesn’t know anything. He doesn’t prepare for anything. He doesn’t study anything…

Kent Kroeger

I am a survey and statistical consultant with over 30 -years experience measuring and analyzing public opinion (You can contact me at: