DEATH AND DESTRUCTION, THE NEW POLITICAL CURRENCY

As the week unfolded in New Orleans and the surrounding states, the situation started to take a definitive shape, and perspective slowly but surely found its way home. The utter carnage and totality of the destruction was unimaginable, even to those standing in its midst. It is a funny thing to be seeing something, and to wonder why your mind doesn’t fully comprehend the image.

Before this tragedy occurred, we were going about our lives in usual fashion, listening to the bickering of our elected officials. They fought about this and that, as politicians are so apt to do. I remember one of the subjects that was thrown around a lot. That subject would be the fact that so many Americans are turned off of politics. They are sick of the partisan bickering, and as we are told, Americans simply want their politicians to do their job. Get the job done. They have just missed the boat, as did the media. The elected officials in New Orleans are so worried about saving their own political skin, that they completely failed to do what they should have done as elected officials.

While some will say that the rescue of those in New Orleans was botched. I wholeheartedly disagree. I truly do. While some who have defended President Bush have been accused of never condemning him for anything, I have the following to say to them. What on earth would you have done differently? Would you have sent in rescue teams to be shot at and held hostage? Would you have sent supplies that couldn’t be used or delivered for failure to assess the situation properly? Would you have built 10,000 rescue choppers and held them in a hangar somewhere, just in case of something like this? Would you have provided buses to move 150,000 people who refused to evacuate anyway? Many of those I saw being plucked from rooftops were not the poor or infirm. They were simply foolish.

Would those of you who have been slamming the government answer the following question? When did you know the levees were going to break? The day before they did? The government is not God, and that is good, because it would have been outlawed. The government is people. People do not have the power over life and death. George Bush could stop this from happening no more than you could have. People will die there this week. Many more will succumb in the following weeks to disease and viral outbreaks. You can’t be wading in a 10 trillion gallon septic tank and not have outbreaks. What would you have the government do about that? Should they wrap everyone in medical latex? Should they suspend the laws of physics? There are limits to what we can do, people.

I do, however, place some of the blame for the attitudes that prevail by this compulsively ungrateful bunch at the doorstep of our politicians and the liberal media. For generations now our politicians have been trying to convince Americans and Canadians that they can be everything to them, and that they can provide everything. We have failed to teach our citizens how to care for themselves. As a result, they are shocked to find that they can still die, that they can succumb to nature, and that nature doesn’t play by our rules.

The saddest part about this week has indeed been the politicians and the media. The partisan politics of a handful of Democrats has been most shameful, as has been the handful of television personalities and newscasters that have seized this tragic opportunity to further their own politics. Now is not the time to score political capital, nor is it the time to play the blame game, but play it they will. They play it because the media will air it, and the people will watch it. What the people should be doing is turning it off and getting angry. Why? As I said, now is not the time.

All Americans should be standing as one. Hand to hand, like a fire brigade.

Wouldn’t it be so nice if the cameras were to zoom in on a Democrat to hear him or her say, “Now is not the time to criticize our president, now is the time to roll up our sleeves. People are dying, they don’t need answers today, they need help. We will look for the answers tomorrow, and we will fix what didn’t work this time. We will be more prepared for the next, and the next.”

Perhaps if this occurred, the people would once again start to respect those whom govern us, and maybe, just maybe, people would start to care about their government again. Think about the political capital that would have been gained. Capital is something you can build upon, currency is gone is a wink. It’s too bad that some can not take the high road.

Where have all the statesmen gone?