Listening to P4, Sveriges Radio.
Just now the reporters from Stockholm are interviewing a young Swedish woman living in Tokyo. They ask, "Are you satisfied with the way the authorities are handling the nuclear power plant accident?" She responds, "You have to believe that they are doing everything that they can."
In an emergency like this, when the only organization that is big enough, and hopefully able to muster the proper expertise, is the government, one has to believe that they are doing everything that they can. Why would they not?
Yet, in a recent Soda Head survey on the issue more of those surveyed than not responded that the government was not to be trusted, even in this extremity. One even quoted Reagan's saw about "The most frightening words are 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help you."
Perhaps the saddest commentary on the American right wing is that they don't have the maturity to recognize that there are times when the government must step in and help and there are times when the government should stay out of the way. That's a lesson the left had to learn in the 1970's and 80's. It is a lesson that most of the right either is ideologically disposed not to learn or too immature to see.
Schools, roads, national defense, national parks and a post office are among those things that government must do because no one else is capable of doing the job. Emergencies like the nuclear melt down or the oil spill are also things on which we must believe that government is doing everything they can.