MINOT, N.D. — We put too much stock in the ability of politicians to provide our lives with meaning.

We attribute to politicians the mood of the nation.

We credit them for moral uplift and blame them for social decline.

The politicians, always pompously eager to exaggerate their importance, are happy to go along with this, despite the risk of getting blamed for things they really can’t control, and what gets lost in this blizzard of delusional aggrandizement is the government’s actual job, which is to fix the damn roads.

Put out the fires.

Police the streets.

We have political leaders obsessed with imposing their preferred cultural outcomes on everyone else by hanging the 10 Commandments in classrooms or promoting a school curriculum that falsely casts Americanism as inherently bigoted.

We can’t just blame the politicians.

They’re doing what they’re told.

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