George Floyd

Coronavirus, Protests, and Policing Expose Government Failure at Every Level

The summer of 2020 got a lot crappier over the weekend, according to the Reason Roundtable podcast.


Garrett Foster, an AK-47-carrying libertarian who joined Black Lives Matter protesters against police abuse, was shot and killed in Austin, Texas, Saturday night after an altercation with a motorist. The facts of the case are murky and disputed, but one overall snapshot of America is clear: Just past the midpoint of this annus horribilis, summer in too many cities is devolving into riots, police crackdowns, and the politics of violence.

All of these trace their origins to local, state, national government failures. The local police and city halls have given up on protecting property; the federal government has given up on law-enforcement federalism; officials have failed to accomplish such basics as enabling speedy test results for a deadly virus.

So argues today's Reason Roundtable podcast, featuring Peter Suderman, Matt Welch, and special guest stars Stephanie Slade and Zach Weissmueller. The gang discusses teachers unions that want to keep schools closed and competition stifled, politicians and partisans who want to keep conflicts escalating, polls that show Joe Biden stomping Donald Trump, and whether Iron Man 2 is the most libertarian movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Audio production by Ian Keyser and Regan Taylor.

Relevant links from the show:

"The Feds Are Still the Jackbooted Thugs We Were Warned About," by J.D. Tuccille

"'CARES' Package Part Two Is Coming, to the Tune of at Least $1 Trillion," by Elizabeth Nolan Brown

"Dispatch From Portland: The Morning Crew," by Nancy Rommelmann

"The Media Wants To Guilt-Trip Parents Over School 'Pods,'" by Matt Welch

"Portland Protesters Get the Immigrant Treatment," by Shikha Dalmia

"Where's Republican Federalism During Trump's Urban Invasions?" by J.D. Tuccille

"Dispatch From Portland: The Fire Next Time," by Nancy Rommelmann

"What It's Like To Work in the Portland Jail During the George Floyd Protests," by Nancy Rommelmann

"Trump's Political Opportunism Has Shredded Federalism," by Shikha Dalmia

"Trump Administration Justifies Federal Police Surge With Fake News," by Elizabeth Nolan Brown

"The Majority of Americans Oppose Qualified Immunity. Where Is Congress?" By Billy Binion

"Rand Paul on Republican Plans for Another Coronavirus Stimulus Bill: 'They Simply Don't Care About the Debt,'" by Eric Boehm

"Trump Deploys Lawlessness Against Lawlessness," by Jacob Sullum

"Dispatch From Portland: A Distinct Lack of Crowbars and Cops," by Nancy Rommelmann

"Rand Paul: It's Time To Demilitarize the Police," by Rand Paul

"Trump Is Wrong: Spreading Epidemic Is Responsible for Most of the Rise in COVID-19 Cases," by Ronald Bailey

"Iron Man 2: Monsters of Metal," by Peter Suderman