In crises like the coronavirus pandemic, it’s only natural that people look to government. The American framework of federalism has been critical, with local, state, and federal governments all taking on different roles in the response. But government alone cannot get the job done.
As critical as the work of government has been, its efforts to get out of the way of business and the civil society—by lifting regulations that inhibit our ability to quickly develop cures or help those in need—are just as important and show how indispensable these other sectors are to the solution.
Civil society in particular is crucial, but what the term actually means is often misunderstood. Civil society is comprised of our churches, charities, community organizations, professional groups, and our families. It’s distinct from the government and business sectors.
Without the foundation of a strong civil society, a nation, its government, and its economy are weak—either clearly so, or just below the surface—and will show signs of failure when tested with things like pandemics, wars, or civil unrest.
On the other hand, a strong civil society can help a nation weather almost any storm.
America’s vibrant civil society is one of the reasons that this nation has withstood so many tests throughout our history, and it is civil society that will help America get through this one.
Churches are keeping their food pantries open and are even providing home deliveries for the elderly and those too sick to venture outside their homes.