Government isn’t all bad. A very small and generally limited one can make some sense. I will even go so far as to say that a very modest taxpayer supported safety net for the truly indigent is OK if for whatever reason a private net does not exist. (I think that it would generally however in a very small government world, but that is for another post.) But government is at best, at best, a necessary evil. It is never something to be celebrated, but we unfortunately have celebrated government for far too long in this country.
This is dangerous. A cult of the state runs very deep through our society. Some people want to believe, despite all the complaining Americans do about our leaders in DC, that the big shots in DC constitute a sort of Olympus populated by secular gods and goddesses which operate on a separate (higher) plane from we mortals. That these deities (can) control our destiny and that they must – because they live on Mount Olympus – know better than us.
I will tell you as someone who spends some time in Washington that there are actually many many very smart and capable people in DC. Particularly sharp are the often unsung apparatchiks running around the place you’ve never heard of. These people are often very well informed and believe it or not, capable.
However their worldview is still colored by the intoxicating bubble of Washington and this must always be kept in mind by those of us who live outside of the Beltway. Also, in addition to these bright folks, there are many more not so exceptional people with far too much power making decisions.
I’ll bet that quite a few of the latter group work at the CDC.
Ebola is very unlikely to become a major health crisis in the United States but the fact that the deadly disease reached our shores has quite understandably shaken American nerves and left people deeply concerned that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is not up to the job of keeping us safe.
The CDC is just the latest in a line of federal agencies viewed as bumbling and incompetent. First it was the botched rollout of Obamacare by the Department of Health and Human Services and the IRS seemingly targeting conservative groups for extra scrutiny. More recently, the Secret Service came under heavy criticism for allowing a knife-wielding intruder to burst in and run wild inside the White House, among other appalling lapses.