Incompetence and mendacity: The government's Ebola response has shaken the public's faith

The shocking competence gap and the cavernous honesty gap — brought to you by the “most transparent administration in history” — make our heads spin as we careen from debacle to government-induced debacle. In the tumult, we can miss the main point: Why do we have a federal government?

Its purpose is to safeguard the American people and pursue our interests in the world, not to solve the world’s problems on our dime and, occasionally, by using us as laboratory mice. As free people, we can try to save the planet. The federal government, however, was not created to do it for us, much less to coerce us into implausible “humanitarian” schemes that always manage to line some crony’s pocket. National interest is our government’s only reliable compass, yet it has been discarded.

It is a short step to incompetence when you lose sight of what you are expected to be competent at accomplishing. It is an even shorter step to mendacity for a ruling class that is schooled to believe the country is fatally flawed and, thus, that the pursuit of our national interests is evil. It turns out that when real crises rivet their attention, the rubes still expect the government to protect and defend them. At that point, the government must either attend to those basic duties, or lie.

This government has made its choice.