America is a nuclear plant in meltdown

by Bob Schwartz

Chernobyl control room

Nuclear plants are immeasurably powerful and potentially dangerous. To run properly and safely they require strict systems and conscientious people. When the systems or people fail, the power is set chaotically free. Disaster follows.

America is right at that point, though we are assured, and assure ourselves, that this is a ridiculously exaggerated metaphor, and concern should not proceed to panic. We have no historical precedent for the worst, at least not here. We believe that the Constitution, the laws, and the essential goodness and wisdom of people in power and citizens make a meltdown impossible.

What if our optimism is wrong? What if our confidence in systems and people is tragically misplaced? What, if anything, can and should we do?