It’s Tuesday, Oct. 30, 7:17 p.m., and I’m watching television coverage of the massive storm that has devastated the East Coast. The damage is so extensive that those on the scene must wonder where and how to even commence to clean up and rebuild.
The damage also brings a few other thoughts, in addition to those of compassion for fellow citizens suffering the direct losses. These thoughts include the effect on the global warming debate and the role of the federal government in such situations.
Those on the Republican right have devoted the past four years to preaching the need for smaller federal government with much more authority and autonomy delegated to the individual states. They have maintained this anti-big-government stance even though senators and representatives are always avidly pursuing federal funds directed to their states or districts. This is known as pork barrel spending and every politician is out to get all he can for his constituents in order that he may be reelected. Big government spending is “bad” only when it goes to some other state or district.
It would seem that given the enormous amount of damage suffered on the East Coast that the federal government will, in some manner, need to become involved. This poses a problem, to-wit:
Mitt Romney, titular head of the G.O.P., may well win election as President of the United States. He, and his cohort, are vehemently opposed to “intervention” by the federal government into state affairs. What would he do in response to the East Coast storm damage situation? Will he go against his professed core beliefs about “big government” and offer aid and assistance to those sufferers on the East Coast, or will he be adamant about any “government bail-outs” in aid of the vast area needing assistance?
I don’t know what, if anything, President Obama can do to help with the situation. I’m sure we will learn much more in that regard in coming days. I do feel that his administration would be far more inclined to offer whatever assistance the federal government could bring to bear in what is an almost unimaginable natural disaster.
This is in no way intended to be a Right vs. Left tirade. It is simply a question as to which political mindset might be more inclined to help those unfortunate East Coasters.
So, what do you think?
Also, re “Global Warming:” Almost all thinking people are coming around to the view of most scientists that we are indeed experiencing at least the beginning of an era of severe weather patterns previously unknown. Not wishing to appear one-sided in this letter, I’m merely going to say that most of those poo-pooing the idea of climate change have been arch conservatives, while most of those agreeing that a change is occurring have leaned toward the liberal side. I don’t know about you, but I get really tired of every subject these days coming down to an insoluble thought-deadlock between the right and the left sides of the political spectrum.
Regardless of who wins the presidential election, I do hope that the United States does everything in its power to aid and assist those sufferers on our East Coast.
The filthy election campaign would have you believe that the federal government is an invention of Satan, but I ask you: Do we pledge allegiance to the flag of Indiana, or Montana, or Florida - or are we still a mighty sovereign nation, the UNITED States of America.
Please think about it when you’re preaching about states’ rights and vilifying the federal government.
Best regards from a citizen of the United States, who happens to live in Indiana.