From CNN: Texas disaster casts harsh light on America’s future, An excerpt:
“A nation starts losing ground when its leaders, instead of focusing on what’s best for their country, become more concerned with their personal interests. Disasters become catastrophes when partisanship overtakes patriotism; when ideological obedience turns policy into fanaticism; when political loyalty outranks competence in government staffing and when extracting political advantage becomes the overpowering goal of people who took office claiming they wanted to work for the people.”
The quote above is excellent, but the article is too full of unjustified opinions. For example, that Trump wanted/expected Dem states to fail; that he was being positive because of the election. The author is right about Texas, but wrong on the pandemic. The fact is that the federal public health bureaucracies failed the American people – CDC botching test development and pandemic communications (Trump certainly “helped” with this but Fauci has done more flipping around than a weather vane) and FDA standing by its bureaucratic prerogatives and procedures for way too long.
The tragedy of Trump is that he never came to grips with the federal bureaucracies. His accomplishments (e.g., the tax cuts that helped the middle class, the Abraham Accords) were all either the work of Congress or of him working through a single person (for the AA, Jared Kushner). The author seems to feel that Big Government is always the answer – it’s not. But as the Texas tragedy shows, No Government isn’t always the best answer, either. The right answer is competence – competent leadership that can recognize when broadswords are needed, and when stilettos will work best. Competent leaders who – in the words of the late great Everett Dirksen – can rise above principle to do the right thing. And competent leaders who are not so constrained by rigid procedures that they can actually do the right thing.