Newsletter: Misdiagnosing the Failed State

(May 12, 2020) You would think America is doomed from the chorus of lamentations by public intellectuals. They see no way out of the toxic combination of polarized politics, cultural divisions, and growing cynicism. Sorry America, time’s up.

What Americans need is the freedom to take responsibility, Philip Howard argues in City Journal. The experts are confusing symptoms for causes. Growing red tape paralysis, post-1960s, laid the egg of polarized politics. Disempowerment breeds finger-pointing and extremism. “It’s your fault!”

Give back to teachers, doctors, public health officials, and communities the freedom to meet public goals in their own ways. Like rain on a parched desert, America can start to bloom again. Accountability, not suffocating red tape, is our safeguard.

This should be the lesson of COVID-19: It’s time to reboot the governing framework to let Americans roll up our sleeves and make things work again. A new movement is needed to make this happen.

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