Letters to the editor
September 19, 2005
Anti-Bush backlash will burn liberals
Liberals must be euphoric at the poll numbers suggesting President Bush isn’t very popular. And, why shouldn’t they be? Hating George Bush has been their single purpose since January 2000.
Well, don’t pop the corks on the champagne bottles yet, my friends-from-the-other-side. In your haste, you have blamed President Bush for slow aid to Katrina victims, slipping U.S. popularity abroad, high cost of fuel, high cost of housing, racial tension and global warming. Many who are middle-of-the-road politically have grudgingly joined your chorus.
In times of stress and crisis, the loudest voices are often cheered, even when they are not correct. The blaming of President Bush for all our ills will have a backlash. When the Gulf Coast recovery is under way, fuel prices stabilized and people realize that the suffering from Katrina was due more to corrupt and inept state and local officials than with Washington’s response, cooler heads will prevail. President Bush will never be a uniter, but neither was his predecessor. He will, however, continue his administration, stay the course he has set, and regain some of his popularity. He differs from his predecessor in that he doesn’t consult the polls before he makes a decision, and that’s an admirable quality.
There is no question there will be a backlash to the liberal blame game. The only question is how strong will it be.
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U.S.’s vulnerability apparent from abroad
I was in a taxi cab driving past Tiananmen Square the other day, and the driver asked me how could the devastation of Katrina happen in a country as great as the United States. It was humiliating, and I had no answer for him at the time, but over the past few days it has become starkly apparent exactly why it did occur.
So many letters and articles as of late keep blaming the Katrina catastrophe on the Bush administration, FEMA, the government, etc., but I think we’ve all lost track of a bigger problem here: ourselves.
Katrina illustrated the vast inefficiencies in a federal bureaucratic organization. So many sectors of the federal government are inefficient because they are too big – they are composed of a huge number of paper pushers who simply take orders from the top and pass them on trying to carry out some sort of coherent response at the bottom. As seen with Katrina, this just doesn’t work.
But who’s fault is that? Instead of pointing the finger, let’s look in the mirror. As a people, we have allowed our federal government to become a huge machine that is out of control, and we are responsible for the response to Katrina. Our political apathy, low voter turnouts in the primary and general elections, poor civic participation, and tendency to always point the finger at someone else rather than look in the mirror and take responsibility for today’s problems has allowed our government to grow larger and larger right under our noses.
We all have become so dependent on the federal government that we lack the ability to respond to any significant disaster at a local level. I hope people realize the magnitude of our vulnerability right now. I can only hope that Katrina showed Americans that our votes do count and our participation does matter. If we had spoken up as a people and kept our states in better control of our disaster relief rather than nonchalantly passing it off to Washington D.C., we wouldn’t have had to depend on the inefficient FEMA to respond first.
I hope Katrina has taught people that local government and local control are better than the inevitable bureaucratic mess (and expense) that comes along with federal programs. Unfortunately, I believe life is still too good for us all, and we’ll continue with the status quo until something bigger begins to affect each of our lives on a significant level. Until then, our vulnerability will remain very apparent from abroad, and we will all wait in helpless apathy for an event far bigger than Katrina that will finally get us off our rears and back to taking control of our government.
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