This rather makes the progressives choke on their granola – America is an individualistic nation. The observation here is specifically that in the times of the virus folks just wouldn’t do as they were told by all those clever people in government:
America’s biggest mistake in fighting Covid-19 began with an assumption made long before the virus behind the pandemic first appeared in humans.
In the federal government’s previous pandemic playbook, the initial actions taken by President Donald Trump’s administration, and advice given by experts, there was a common theme: that America would come together against a major national threat, helping put it down collectively.
As it turns out Americans are rather more individualistic than that. Quite why this is a surprise among those who quit every other nation – or were thrown out of, to taste – to then found America is hard to grasp. This is rather the point of America, to be individual, not collective.
The proposed solution is that something must change:
One way to fix these problems would be to try to make Americans more collectivistic.
Well, good luck with that, cultures are rather more difficult to change than people tend to think. The other thing that could be done is to take note of this:
Whenever collective action is called for, Americans don’t do it — or, at the very least, don’t do it sufficiently. America is too politicized, fractured, and, above all, individualistic for a collective move to save it.
It was ultimately an acknowledgment: America is an individualistic nation, and a progressive administration alone can’t change that.
How about taking that to heart more generally? It’s not a collective sorta place, it’s an individual one. So, stop trying to govern it like its a colony of ants that will all perform their particular function and no other. Run the system as if it’s actually for a series of individuals each with their own different desires then.
This would mean shooting most of the bureaucracy of course. That in itself would be fun. But the most important step would be to devolve power down. As, actually, the system was originally intended to do. While this all sounds a bit posse comitatus it is actually true that the essential political and legal unit is the county, with the State above that. The Feds are there to deal with foreigners and the Navy – maybe these days the Army too. So, return to that system.
The Federal government gets 3 to 5% of everything to pay the Pentagon and the diplomats. Everything else – including all welfare, pensions and so on – gets done at those lower levels of the political structure. Because that’s how individualistic places get goverend successfully.