The Role of Nonpartisan Input in Government
Government should not be legislating people’s choices in areas that require professional expertise. Professionals in medical, mental health, educational, and scientific fields require extensive and specialized training to become “knowledge experts.” Yet, untrained politicians in all levels and branches of government seem to believe they possess the power to make life decisions for us.
It is my premise that laws and rulings that relate to these specialties should rely on consultation with nonpartisan advisory committees made up of experts in the field. At the very least, the directors of relevant state agencies, such as Department of Health and Human Services or the Department of Education, should give unbiased information about the best course of action for the sake of the people. Otherwise, many important decisions that affect the quantity and quality of life are made for political gain rather than for the benefit of citizens.
Why are politicians deciding our fate? If we take the pandemic as an example, the appropriate medical response was NOT the first consideration of many politicians. Would I want my doctor to advise me on legal matters? No! So why should attorneys or business owners who became politicians advise us on medical matters? As we can tell by the unnecessary deaths and hardships that occurred because the pandemic was politicized, respected physicians and public health officials should have been the ones to establish the policies related to managing the pandemic. Then, our country would have had a much better outcome.
There are many areas that are decided by politicians in power who do not know anything about the field in question. This long list includes not just medical emergencies such as the pandemic, but also abortion and transgender rights, end-of-life decisions and medical euthanasia, eligibility for special education services, criteria for qualifying for Social Security Disability Income, climate change, and medical insurance access, to name just a few.
Hopefully, as a state representative, I will be able to establish legislation in Texas to limit the power of politicians, who lack expertise, to make such important decisions without using factual and objective information from the true experts.
Editorial by: H. Denise Wooten, PsyD