Echoing Bush and his cronies hollow words regarding predicting the "Big One" in New Orleans ("who knew the levees would break?"/"who knew there were 25,000 people without food at the convention center?"), liberal talk radio today really pissed me off. Okay, they knew that Bush would be bad for the US and they knew that neocon politics were shallow, selfish and greedy. But in the great rush to use this human tragedy to promote whatever agenda any particular pundit has, the liberals have seized upon Bush without doing any real analysis at all. The best they seem to have is "see, see, we told you so."
"The People" have had many warnings before Katrina (though this past 8 days are admitedly the most horrific clue yet).
Did Americans not understand that consumption and greed would catch up with them? Read the Crisis of Confidence speech made by Jimmy Carter on July 15, 1979. Here is a pertinent excerpt:
...too many of us now tend to worship self-indulgence and consumption. Human identity is no longer defined by what one does, but by what one owns. But we've discovered that owning things and consuming things does not satisfy our longing for meaning. We've learned that piling up material goods cannot fill the emptiness of lives which have no confidence or purpose.
The symptoms of this crisis of the American spirit are all around us. For the first time in the history of our country a majority of our people believe that the next five years will be worse than the past five years. Two-thirds of our people do not even vote. The productivity of American workers is actually dropping, and the willingness of Americans to save for the future has fallen below that of all other people in the Western world.
As you know, there is a growing disrespect for government and for churches and for schools, the news media, and other institutions. This is not a message of happiness or reassurance, but it is the truth and it is a warning.
These changes did not happen overnight. They've come upon us gradually over the last generation, years that were filled with shocks and tragedy.
Eery how not much has changed.
It is my hope that Americans will remember Katrina and the horrors that have occured this week. But the spin to get us to forget has already begun
I do not know whose fault it is. I really don't particularly care. For once I agree with dubbya, now is not the time to play the blame game.
It is time to DO SOMETHING ABOUT THIS COUNTRY!!!!
Now is the time for Americans to ask themselves what they have done to get us to the point that our government is incompetent (at best?) and possibly fascist and malignant (I do not use these words lightly).
Are we going to spend endless days, and countless amounts of money on taskforces and hearings where politicians get to do even more posturing?
Some of us have been trying to make a difference. Some of us have burned out trying to make a difference. Some of us have given up (at least for now) because we have led far too many charges only to look behind us and see the troups running in the opposite direction.
What happened this week is just as much a result of a general dumbing down of America as it is the specific decisions made by specific people.
Premeditated apathy, the co-optation of science for industrial and economic gain over truth, the movement of our universities from places where a well rounded education was respected to factories that seek to produce "knowledge workers" rather than scholars and a growing desire to dominate everything in our paths (animals, environment, other people, etc.) have contributed to the mindset that took its time to aid the people of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast.
It is my hope that we can go beyond the drawing of lines in the sand. It is my hope that these events will be sobering to an apathetic nation that desparately needs to hit bottom and find its way to recovery. Tens of thousands of American's died this week. In the larger scheme of things, even the worst cases of New Orleans will not equal much of what other parts of the world have experienced.
But isn't it enough. Isn't this the bottom?
If not, then what will it take?
I shudder to even contemplate that question.