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Defining “expert” down

The Statesman editorial board lets us know how Don McLeroy defines an “expert” on something.

Don McLeroy, who couldn’t muster enough votes in the Republican-dominated Texas Senate to win confirmation as chairman of the State Board of Education, has a curious notion of what qualifies someone as an expert.

“If two (board) members think they’re qualified, they’re qualified,” McLeroy said. McLeroy, a Bryan dentist who retains his seat on the board, was discussing the selection of experts chosen to make recommendations on the state’s social studies curriculum to be adopted next year.

Give the doctor points for candor, but securing two votes of people who agree with your views on religion and politics — religion in politics in this case — should not an expert make. McLeroy’s comment reveals what is horribly wrong with the way curriculum is developed by an elected board that serves as a platform for the ultra-conservative members to promote a religious ideology.

You have to admit, that explains a lot. One wonders: If, say, two board members of the Texas Freedom Network produced a list of experts on the Bible, do you think Don McLeroy would accept it? I’m kinda thinking the answer to that is No.

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