Friday, September 02, 2005
Shocking Images Of Death, Terror And Anarchy In Our Beloved America; Politicians Disgraced By New Orleans Disaster; Tragedy Shakes Faith; A Blog Extra
Politics can be fun and entertaining. And it can also be deadly serious. The horrific images flashed across the world from New Orleans have politicians everywhere on the defensive. How could the emergency response system fail so miserably? How could officials be so disconnected with reality? Video showed scenes of human tragedy so revealing that one either turned their head away or burst into tears. Yet in Washington and elsewhere officials struggled to paint a different reality. Has "spin" become the end game, even trumping human life?
Impressions of a government gone haywire are indelibly etched in the collective consciousness: A befuddled and seemingly detached President, a Homeland Security Director reciting a litany of help "on its way" while TV scenes showed a city descending into hell; military leaders so wrapped up in bureaucracy they could not establish command and control. And the impotence of the world's greatest democracy succinctly captured on price boards showing gasoline rocketing past three dollars a gallon.
Yes, we have lived through times like this before. President Carter lost control of events in the late 70's. President Johnson was swallowed whole by the Vietnam War. Now, yet another president is mired in an impossible war, confronted with energy prices that threaten the stability of the economy and political system and a natural disaster of unprecedented proportions that demands a level of leadership that we have yet to see emerge from either Democrats or Republicans and that will make 9/11 look like child's play.
THE BOTTOM LINES
This wonderful, grand experiment known as America is bigger than any of its present day guardians. As long as people yearn for freedom it will be here in one form or another. But our political system is once again clogged, infected if you will, and in need of flushing. The symptoms, as listed above, are the no-way-out Iraq war, a new energy crisis and the mismanagement of the catastrophe in the Southland.
This is not a plea "to throw the bums out"--although that may be the reasonable response of the voters if present trends continue--it is a plea, a hope perhaps, that these challenges motivate a new generation of leadership to come forward. It is they who will need to flush out our stagnant and bloated political system so sadly on display in this somber summer of 2005.
WHERE TO GIVE
Here is a link to the American Red Cross to help the victims of Hurricane Katrina.
(c)NM POLITICS WITH JOE MONAHAN 2005
Not for reproduction without permission of the author