COVID-19 Exposes a Crisis of Representative Government

President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris receive an update on the fight against the coronavirus pandemic as they visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, Ga., March 19, 2021. (Carlos Barria/Reuters)
The CDC is issuing the guidance that presumes to run our lives. But no one elected the CDC to anything.

NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE F or a time back in the aughts, our big national debate centered on who should run national-security policy in wartime. The who question is about accountability, without which our constitutional system cannot function. The legitimacy of a democratic republic for a free, self-determining people ultimately depends on a transparent line: decisionmakers who answer to the people whose lives are impacted by those decisions.

The system was fraying then, but it is disintegrating now. That is a crisis. Not merely a COVID-19 crisis, but a crisis of representative government itself.

At the turn of the century, in the years after the 9/11 attacks,

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