Or, maybe better: The real lessons of a disaster.
Much has been said and will continue to be said about the Hurricane that hit New Orleans one year ago today. I have several issues with the reporting of the disaster anniversary which I guess should surprise no one.
I'm going to pull a few gems out of this article for your reading enjoyment. OK, let's be candid, they're for my editorial urges, but maybe you'll enjoy them too. "The tears were mixed with anger at officials who abandoned tens of thousands..." This statement is particularly offensive. Officials abandoned people there? Which officials? Were they there together, perhaps, and then the officials piled into their VW van and got the hell out of there as soon as they heard of the storm, but failed to warn the "tens of thousands"?
The MSM loudly bills Katrina as the greatest disaster to hit the United States. It was the most costly, and you'd have to go back to 1928 to find more deaths from a storm. But I think there's a bigger disaster, and I'll get to that thought in a minute.
Further, why in the world is President Bush accepting full responsibility? Because he failed to go door to door, reminding those people living in government-funded housing, collecting government-funded welfare that 1) a dangerous storm was coming and 2) they might want to get off their backsides and get the hell out of town? At one extreme, Bush could have had the city and area forcibly evacuated. At the other extreme, he could have literally done nothing (not the figurative nothing that everyone claims he did). But let's be candid: in either case, he would have been ripped from one end to the other. What exactly would have been the appropriate thing to do? Ask any individual, and their response would likely be self-focused: in other words, if I got out, I wouldn't be mad. But were people forced to stick around in the face of a category-5 storm? Can we really look at any person other than the ones who stayed as responsible for the outcome they are faced with? For Bush to accept "full responsibility" is just... plain... well, irresponsible. Yes, it is the politically comforting thing to do (after all, no one is going to hold him to this; there will be no charges or investigations into his "full responsibility") but in the end, it reinforces what the real disaster is here: rampant dependency and a lack of self-government. So much so that the very instinct of self-preservation is deadened in people. This still, to this day, shocks me.
Here at last is my point: we have a citizenry that is growing ever more dependent on "the government" (in whatever form is most conducive to the problem at hand) to do for them the things they should be doing for themselves. Can't pay your rent? Get the government to help. Can't feed and clothe your family? Get the government to help. Can't have the conscious awareness necessary to remove yourself from the path of a destructive force of nature? You get the idea.
I can only wonder: will this growing dependence end? Where and how? Can we really become more dependent as a people - is that possible? How, I wonder, could we?
So, put me down for a little bit of anger tonight as well, Dear Reader. I'm a little angry that the family unit has fallen apart so much so that people look to the government for their care, something that was once the domain of the family and the church. Let's not forget: that "government" is only in business because you and I work and pay those ever-growing taxes. Lost in all of this is the fact that we're sliding towards absolute despotism. If we lose, or if we cannot regain, that sense of self-government necessary for the success of a federal representative republic, we might as well admit that what we're supposed to have is no longer in the cards and that what we're going to have is socialism, pure and simple.
Oh, and must I smack you over the head with it? Which political party would you guess has spent the better part of the last thirty years doing whatever they can to undermine the importance of the family? I'll give you three guesses and the first two don't count.