A phenomenon of our times is that public events often get transformed—or reduced—into phrases, and the one that has followed the massacre in Uvalde, Texas, is “do something.” Here it means that because of the recurrence of mass shootings, something should be done to control the availability of guns in the United States.
A related phenomenon is the belief that “do something” will produce the desired result. But what if we have arrived at the point where something close to the opposite is true? Step back and it’s hard not to notice: The American political system has accreted so many solutions and sub-solutions to so many problems that what we have created is a system mired in sludge.
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