Don't expect the national government to protect you from COVID-19, HIV, or the flu. Our system is decentralized and that is a good system for problem-solving.

The American media is good when it is asking informed questions but it is a disaster when it is asking ridiculous questions. Leslie Stahl, a long time asker of questions on 60 Minutes, asked Vice President Mike Pence a question that shows just how much the media can get it wrong when they don't know how our system works.

Our vice president was asked what would he tell a mother in Wisconsin who is wondering if she should send her child to school.

That is the equivalent of asking a locally-elected school committee member what they believe should be the number of soldiers deployed in support of our NATO allies in Europe.

Unfortunately, there are too many local elected officials blaming the federal government for their own failure while they spend too much time thinking about national issues that don't fall within their scope of responsibility.

I support Donald Trump, but I don't want him to make local health policy. You may support Joe Biden, but I can't imagine you want him to decide what you and your neighbors should be allowed to do on a daily basis to resist COVID-19.

There is no way that an elected official in Washington D.C. can know better than the locally-elected officials in cities like New Bedford, Fall River, Boston, and Taunton. Even locally, there are major differences between towns like Freetown, Lakeville, Acushnet, Dartmouth, Rochester, Wareham, and the cities nearby.

This situation of superior local knowledge isn't just about COVID-19. Long before this pandemic was imported from China, we all understood the importance of local government and federalism.

Don't let a political election ruin your understanding of your country's government. You probably know more than the people writing the questions at 60 Minutes.

Chris McCarthy is the host of The Chris McCarthy Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 10 a.m. to noon. Contact him at and follow him on Twitter @Chris_topher_Mc. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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