Amtrak derailment highlights the left's theodicy of the federal government

But what if journalists — some of whom just yesterday were admitting they know “close to zero” Christians — don’t have a religious or even non-political vocabulary for use in such tragedies? Perhaps we politicize everything in part because we have lost any understanding of the world as fallen and out of our control. It would explain both the social mobs who police every utterance and the quick rush to find meaning in a corporation’s tragedy based on how many billions of dollars it has received in federal subsidies over the last few decades.

So instead of contemplating how fleeting and out of our control life can be, we instead begin with the question, “Why do bad things happen to good administrations?” (“Trick question!” the conservative or libertarian might respond. “There are no good administrations!”) The theodicy of federal government requires an explanation that defends the goodness of government control or subsidies into the given sphere. So just as some religious groups might blame a weather event on insufficient fealty to the relevant god, some progressives blame — before the National Transportation Safety Board has even shown up on site to investigate the cause of a crash — insufficient fealty, sacrifice and offerings to the relevant god of federal government.

Yes, it’s annoying how some progressives politicize everything. But if it’s understood as a sort of primitive religious reaction to confusion about holy government’s many failures, it at least helps explain why they do it.