From Business Insider India.

There are two distinct ways to think about good, citizen-controlled government: (1)  the State must be limited to defending our rights; or (2) the State must be channeled to promote the general welfare, either by (a) avoiding the worst disasters or (b) promoting universally understood good things or (c) both.

I am really big on Job 1, and find it hard to argue against Job 2a. It is in 2b and 2c endeavors where things get murky and citizen control of government difficult, perhaps illusory.

There are two distinct threats to the world right now: (1) the budding COVID-19 epidemic and (2) Asteroid 1998 OR2.

We all know about, if not much about, (1) the now-declared pandemic. But we aren’t much worried about (2) the fly-by of an asteroid big enough to destroy civilization and send our planet into a conflagration.* 

Eric Mack, writing at C/Net, starts off by stating “A huge asteroid is set to make a close pass by Earth in April, and although it’s considered ‘potentially hazardous’ to [sic?] astronomers, the only show it will be putting on over the next few centuries will be in the night sky.”

OK. No need to worry then, eh?

The potentially dangerous asteroids have been largely mapped — a coordinated private-public effort. The comets are trickier.

With a lot of unknowns facing us, expecting the government to serve us makes sense, but to assume the government can flawlessly save us may be more dangerous than Asteroid 1998 OR2. 

We must not become a cargo cult, praying for the lordly President to bring us all the goodies of a mysterious, magical civilization.

So heavily criticizing President Trump’s speech, last week, may not be our most rational response to the coronavirus pandemic . . . or the continuing threat from above.

* Followed by a deep freeze like we haven’t seen since the megafaunal extinction event of the Younger Dryas, approximately twelve thousand years ago.