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Revenge of the nerds

By Matthew Delaney 

Two things have become abundantly clear in the past 18 months. One, nerds run our society, and two, they’ve abandoned the duty that comes with that responsibility. 

For each period in human history, we’ve had one class of people running it.  

In our prehistoric days, the strongest cavemen inspired others to establish a tribe together. Their leadership provided the protection for the less capable during a dangerous time.  

Eventually that transitioned into ancient civilizations where rulers were thought of as literal gods, like Egyptian’s pharaohs. Then there’s the European monarchies in the early and Middle Ages where divine right meant they were born to be above the earthly trappings of parliaments and constitutions.  

The Enlightenment shifted away from our leaders being “chosen” by a god. Instead, they were selected by the people while also promising not to trample their natural rights. 

I’m simplifying, of course, but you get the point. There’s always been a dominant belief system that defines our relationship with power and who we think should hold it. Today, we believe that power lies in superior information. 

We like to tell ourselves we’ve moved past all those superstitious quirks of the human race’s youth and now have a strict adherence to the facts discerned by our trusted scholars and professionals. The nerds in charge of that reality — whether it’s the news delivered by journalists, the curricula taught by college professors, or the medical and technological breakthroughs brought on by scientists — shape our “religion” of logic. 

But the more we observe how that belief system is cast aside to achieve self-serving goals, the more we realize our new “gods” are nothing more than the corruptible figures of our past. And they’re doing it out of personal animus for those that defy them. 

The media nerds’ downfall has been their willingness to shill for Democrats. That’s most recently seen in the fight to pass President Joe Biden’s $3.5 trillion infrastructure bill.  

It’s expected that politicians advocating for their bill, especially a president whose legacy is riding on its passage, will say whatever they can to make it more palatable.  

Biden did just that last week when he stated that “We talk about price tags. It is a zero price tag on the debt we’re paying. We’re going to pay for everything we spend. … [E]very time I hear, ‘This is going to cost A, B, C, or D,’ the truth is, based on the commitment that I made, it’s going to cost nothing.” 

When it sounds way too good to be true, that’s when we turn to our (ideally) objective media for answers. What we find is them uncritically siding with the president’s own pudding-brain rationale. 

Catherine Rampell, a Washington Post columnist, parroted that talking point in a TV hit over the weekend. As have other reliable hacks in the media such as MSNBC’s Steve Benen and CNN’s Jake Tapper, who let Democrat Congresswoman Pramila Jaypal spit out her own narrative without any real pushback. 

The lone holdout was Rampell’s own fact-checking colleague, Glenn Kessler. He may have come to her defense on Twitter, but he provided a more skeptical take on how much the bill would cost in his column by labeling Biden’s claim as misleading since it could wind up costing more than its $3.5 trillion tag.  

Where’s the academic outcry over our scholars minimizing the existence of women, though? The Lancet, a prestigious medical journal in Britain, opted to describe the fairer sex as “bodies with vaginas” on the cover of its September issue. This comes months after Brighton and Sussex University hospitals also in Britain told its staff to use terms like “birthing parents” and “human milk” rather than referring to “mothers” and “breast milk.” 

We’ve seen plenty of this stateside. Democratic Representative Cori Bush introduced a lot of people to “birthing persons” back in May. Just recently, the American Civil Liberties Union scrubbed the word “women” from a Ruth Bader Ginsburg quote to be more trans-friendly. You know, to the plethora of trans women having their reproductive freedoms limited [eyeroll]. 

Look what’s happening to actual women. To be more inclusive to all “kinds” of women, our brainiacs are openly reducing their existence down to their sexual organs. They’re favoring those who paid to get their lady parts added on rather than those who came with it equipped. 

It’s why even feminists are going on the offensive over this. As one Australian writer points out, they take it “…as part of a campaign to erase sex. And that potentially has implications, they argue, in a range of areas, including medicine, law and policing.” 

How could the smartest people in the room not foresee the problems created by letting people “choose” their sex?  

Probably the same way our nerdy geniuses couldn’t tell their mishandling of Covid protocols would completely rot trust in their wisdom. From telling us racism is a greater public health crisis than the virus itself to “beloved” Dr. Anthony Fauci attending a baseball game while you were locked up at home, this pandemic has made us all believe these guys are full of shit in what they offer society.  

But let’s get this straight — nerds have been an immense benefit to us. They’ve made more places livable thanks to air conditioning. They took us to the skies and eventually the moon. They made the internet and smartphones and social media that have revolutionized how we communicate. And yes, they have delivered a plethora of vaccines dramatically improving our quality of life. 

We owe a lot to our nerdy rulers. However, we don’t owe them the fealty they want because they pitch themselves as the authority on information, and by extension, the “truth.” They may have the right degrees and better scores on an IQ test, but they don’t understand that people won’t sacrifice the dignity that comes from living as they please simply because someone has a greater intellect than them. 

That’s ultimately where our nerds fail. They treat each person’s resistance to their insight as if it’s a glitch to be fixed. There’s “misinformation” spreading on social media? Just censor it. Not enough people are getting vaccinated? Just threaten to take their jobs away.  

This is the “god” mentality that we’ve seen from previous phases of humanity, and now the geeks who got bullied as kids lack the empathy to restrain their power-hungry impulses. A thirst for revenge, as others have noted before me, is definitely an undercurrent of our present difficulties.   

It doesn’t have to be this way. Like I said, our nerds have helped us engineer a better world for nearly the past 150 years. But they should shelve their desire to control anything outside of the systems and machines they’ve constructed. People who don’t have the social acumen to navigate a house party should not be attempting to socially engineer an entire nation, or even all the Western world for that matter. 

Contrary to popular belief, we aren’t imbeciles. And if our nerds don’t pick up on that, some people may take it upon themselves to put those nerds back in their place just like the old days.

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Matthew Delaney


Matthew Delaney is a local journalist based in Washington, D.C. When he’s not questioning why he joined the media, he’s doing his part to restore some of its credibility with quality work

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