I'm suspicious of superstitions, like astrology or the belief that "green jobs will fix the environment and the economy." I understand the appeal of such beliefs. People crave simple answers and want to believe that some higher power determines our fates.
The most socially destructive superstition of all is the intuitively appealing belief that problems are best solved by government.
Opinion polls suggest that Americans are dissatisfied with government. Yet whenever another crisis hits, the natural human instinct is to say, "Why doesn't the government do something?"
And politicians appear to be problem-solvers. We believe them when they say, "Yes, we can!"
In 2008, when Barack Obama's supporters shouted, "Yes, we can!" they expressed faith in the power of government to solve problems. Some acted as if Obama were a magical politician whose election would end poverty and inequality and bring us to "the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal."
At least now people have come to understand that presidents -- including this president -- can't perform miracles.