Beyond corruption, the U.S. is facing an alarming collapse in state capacity on multiple levels.

The most widely noted and most important recent example involves vaccine distribution. The federal government was effective at using money to encourage pharmaceutical companies to develop vaccines in record time against the COVID-19 pandemic. But now that we have them, we’ve dropped the ball. The feds are handing off the vaccines to states, which are passing them along to a range of hospitals, clinics, health departments, and assisted living facilities, as well as to drug store and supermarket chains like CVS, Walgreens, Rite-Aid, Walmart, and Kroger. If that sounds confusing, it is — massively. The result is that we’ve so far vaccinated just 1.3 percent of the country. That’s about 4.3 million doses as of Sunday — more than 15 million short of the original goal of vaccinating 20 million people by the end of December…

Put it all together, and we’re left with a vision of a government hamstrung at multiple levels and sometimes acting in ways that increase its own enervation, debasement, and incompetence. Getting rid of our uniquely unfit president will be a good start to turning things around, but the problem is much bigger than one man. America needs nothing short of radical reversal on a range of fronts in order to pull out of its dangerous downward spiral.