In a Hurricane, Everyone’s a Socialist

September 08, 2017 By: El Jefe Category: flooding, Government

I’m sitting here watching the FEMA morning briefing on Hurricane Irma with Grinning Tom Price and director Brock Long while they are speaking of 8,000 FEMA employees advance deployed and commodities (food, water, medicine) staged from Florida to North Carolina.  They’re speaking of evacuating electricity dependent medical patients, evacuation routes, and other issues that professionals discuss preparing for landfall of major hurricane.

Over the last several weeks, elected officials in Texas and Florida have actually conducted themselves as adults, taking responsibility and using their authority (and government coffers) to serve their constituents.  The weakest person I’ve seen is Greg Abbott who has played a very small role compared to Houston mayor Sylvester Turner and Harris Country judge Ed Emmett, staying pretty much in the background, showing up only to suck up to Cheeto Jesus while he grandstanded during his two brief and embarrassing appearances here in Texas.

Speaking of embarrassing, Donald Trump. His performance during his cringe-inducing visits (accompanied by his wife impersonating Michael Jackson in those silly caps and shades) were nothing short of embarrassing.  Thank God he left to go play golf immediately after instructing shelter victims to “have a great time”.

I digress – what’s really struck me during these events is how Trump administration appointments and elected officials are bringing the force of government to bear to serve its residents.  Trump has already proposed, and the Congress is virtually certain to approve, an initial $8 billion relief appropriation.  Local, state, and federal officials are working together to save lives and shelter victims of the recent storms.  FEMA has been on the ground in Houston since initial rains started and is processing over 300,000 funding applications already filed.

The difference between these responses and the disaster during Katrina 12 years ago is striking; today government is being proactive rather than passive as it was during that crisis where local, state, and federal governments were simply incompetent and totally unprepared.  The current response is strikingly different – in general, politics have been set aside by elected officials to get help to Americans.  There’s none of the nonsense about “compassionate conservatism” which created the shameful Katrina response.  It looks to me that government is pretty much working as it should – for the good of society.

The collective power of people working together using the resources available to soften the blow of catastrophes like Harvey and Irma is how advanced societies are supposed to function.  Government money and resources help; individual citizens volunteering is key; law enforcement and firefighting agencies must galvanize to serve.  In short, this is how it’s supposed to work.  Libertarian ideology goes out the window because it simply doesn’t work.  Radical right wing ideology goes with it because no person is an island.  In short, during crisis, everyone is a socialist working for the collective good.  That’s how society is supposed to work.

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6 Comments to “In a Hurricane, Everyone’s a Socialist”

  1. WA Skeptic says:

    Yes–that’s America!

  2. Digby has an article up about this.

    Not that we didn’t know it already, but conservatives and libertarians are OK with government assistance only as much as it benefits them personally. Aid package for Republican voting Texas or Florida? Sure thing. Democratic voting states? Not so much.

  3. Good one, El Jefe! As I recall the Governor Of Louisiana and the Mayor at the time of New Orleans were told fact to face after some kind of meeting that happened not to long before Katrina hit that all they would have to do is sit back and call FEMA and they would be saved. And then The Shrub told Brownie he was doing a heck of a job. We lost a good friend to Katrina and we are not forgetting it.

  4. Even the rightwing guntoters and “get the gubmint off my back” types are willing to help and donate in a crisis. Some are wearing big boots and hats and some are wearing tie-dye, but everybody helps.

  5. “In short, during crisis, everyone is a socialist working for the collective good. That’s how society is supposed to work.”

    Even outside of a crisis, that’s how it’s supposed to work! We build roads and educate kids for the common good when the sun shines, too.

  6. But maybe only when there’s photo ops and it’s their constituents. Cheeto Jebus denied federal aid to Oregon to fight the fires burning large sections of CA, OR and WA.