What separates the US and the UK from other democracies is extravagant self-belief.
It takes effort to recapture how Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher in the 1980s hastened the demise of the Soviet Union. Images of that triumphal moment are as fresh as yesterday. The atmospherics smell of another era. Yet it is worth the effort.
America and Britain’s poor responses to COVID-19 can be traced partly to post-cold war self-congratulation – the belief that neither had much to learn from the rest of the world. In a few short months a microbe has exposed the underside to Anglo-American hubris. It could take far longer to undo the pandemic’s damage to their brands.