'Competence is in short supply': Presidential historian explains why people are so scared about failed coronavirus response
Jon Meacham (MSNBC)

Presidential historian Jon Mecham explained that government isn't the fun, sexy thing that films make it out to be. Even President Donald Trump's excitement over his top position doesn't reflect the reality of the daily needs of the American government, particularly when facing a pandemic of coronavirus.


In an MSNBC conversation Sunday, Meacham said that the boring part of the government is in desperate need of some competence.

"What people want from government is security," Meacham explained. "And whether that is terrorists, against foreign foes, or against disease. That's the central claim. To utterly dork-out here, John Locke, this is the social contract. This is the reason we go from the state of nature to a state of government. We surrender certain rights and certain liberties that we would have if we were all by ourselves because we dwell in greater safety in the community. And if the government can't provide that safety within that community, then it's a fundamental breakdown."

He conceded it might sound hyperbolic, but that this is not the same as Ukraine and Trump releasing the aid.

"This is whether you shake hands, this is whether you get on airplanes, this is whether you will make your quarterly numbers if you're in business," he said.

Watch below: