YES, THIS IS A REAL HEADLINE.
The New York Times, that former newspaper that used to be the beacon of journalistic light for the masses, actually published that.
They're trying to put The Babylon Bee out of business!!
Even The Bee's satire wasn't as extreme as the real headline.
Wrap it up, Bee crew: You guys are so outdated compared to reality.
I should note that someone still has a functioning prefrontal cortex over at the NYT, because the paper modified the headline to this:
(Or maybe it was just a plagiarism concern...)
Let's play a game.
I'm going to post a snippet from either the NYT's story or The Bee's story, and you have to guess whether its the Wharton psychologist Adam Grant or The Bee that wrote it.
Ready? Try to guess which quotes are from The Bee.
- ...if we want public office to have integrity, we might be better off eliminating elections altogether.
- We can't let democracy get in the way and ruin our perfect democracy.
- If we let everyone in the country legally vote to choose the nation's leadership, democracy itself may be lost forever.
- "Systematically selected leaders can undermine group goals"
- "It's unfathomable that the American people would allow such egregious destruction of our country's democratic foundations by allowing the majority of elected representatives to represent them through legislative action."
- ...no voting also means no boundaries to gerrymander and no Electoral College to dispute.
If you picked 1, 4, and 6 for the NYT, you got it right. Congrats!
Now to give Dr. Adam Grant his due.
I don't fault him for the editor's choice of headline. The hacktivists that run these operations love publishing headlines like this.
But Grant is actually exploring an interesting idea that's trying to solve the problem of personal career politics instead of civic duty. The worst people do rise to the top in our system.
the people most drawn to power are usually the least fit to wield it.
Grant argues that we could use a lottery system full of people who have passed comprehensive civics tests in order to choose leaders.
But in multiple experiments led by the psychologist Alexander Haslam, the opposite held true. Groups actually made smarter decisions when leaders were chosen at random than when they were elected by a group or chosen based on leadership skill.
That's an intriguing idea: After all, the Founding Fathers gave qualifications for running for office (30 years old to be in the Senate, 35 and a natural citizen to be president) and voting (originally restricted to property owners). Yes, there were political compromises and norms that kept the vote from others, like blacks and women, but in principle, most of the men who created our government were far less concerned with things like racism and sexism than they were about the dilution of power and the sinful nature of man.
They fabricated a massive system of checks and balances to keep power out of the hands of one ambitious person, believing that it would be best to pit competing interests against each other and divide the power so that it would be impossible for someone to become king.
They also believed it was inevitable that someone would try to become a king.
Which leads me back to Grant's thought experiment. Sure, the lottery system like Athens sounds like a great idea, but there are three problems:
- The most ambitious, Slytherin-house people will still be the ones lining up to pass the qualifications test for the lottery and, more importantly, to control the qualifications test for the lottery. Parties would do everything to control the levers of that mechanism. You would get rid of one fence and build a flimsier one.
- We do not have a unified culture or beliefs anymore like the people of Athens did. You may think pluralism is still going to work, but we live in a time where some people think men can become women so good luck with that fantasy.
- Despite the fact that throwing a random dart at a board might get you a better leader for most bureaucratic positions, there are some people who have the qualifications and character to wield power and some who do not. Any random person could be a school board member. Only a few could effectively decide how to wield a nuclear arsenal.
But give Grant some time. He might come around yet to the idea that a constitutional republic founded on the understanding that Christ is Lord and man is fallen is the only way forward.
After all, he invoked the Dark Triad and that's a gateway to Jordan Peterson!
The most dangerous traits in a leader are what psychologists call the dark triad of personality traits: narcissism, Machiavellianism and psychopathy.
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