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Unity in the Face of a Can’t Do Government

Posted by Rick · September 3rd, 2005 · 2 Comments

After yesterday’s post, two people sent the same article, titled “A Can’t Do Government” to me.

Steve Malm posted it as a follow-up comment to my article and one of my former philosophy professors, Terry Winant, also sent it, saying, “Here is a succinct statement.”

The part of the article that immediately struck me was not just that there was plenty of reason for the government to have known about this in advance, but also this part:

Thousands of Americans are dead or dying, not because they refused to evacuate, but because they were too poor or too sick to get out without help – and help wasn’t provided. Many have yet to receive any help at all. — Paul Krugman, “A Can’t Do Government” (September 2, 2005) The New York Times.

This is symptomatic of what’s been happening with our nation. We’ve not only transformed from “can do” to “can’t do,” but we’ve transformed from a nation that cared about every individual to a nation where it’s every individual for him- or herself.

And if you’re part of the minority — if you’re too weak to make it as the herd stampedes this way and that without a care for anyone else running alongside them — you’re going to be crushed.

That’s not the version of America that created great things — now nearly forgotten — like the Constitution of the United States of America.

True unity comes not from ignoring our differences, including our differences of opinion. True unity comes from the recognition that each and every one of us is important — important enough to live for, to fight for and important enough to die for. This understanding of unity is what makes us stand together. It is what has made our nation great.

The United States of America that I used to know would be appalled at any nation that allowed thousands of its own citizens — especially its poorest and those most in need — to die shamefully and unaided in the streets of one of its once-great cities. The United States of America I know would never countenance a government that left its citizens — whether living or dead — to rot in the sun.

The United States of America that I know would never allow a party — which perhaps not coincidentally makes a big show of its adamant adherence to Christianity — to run our great nation into the ground.

It’s time to do something about New Orleans. It’s time to do something about people starving to death. It’s time to bury the dead. It’s time to stop with the Christian pretensions of a vocal minority and draw upon some real spiritual strength as a nation.

It’s time for all of us to get some backbone.

It’s time to hold our government accountable.

Because in the United States of America that I used to know, we, the People own that government.

And right now, those in control of our government not only seem to have that backwards, but they think the rest of us are disposable. And they’re proving it every day another citizen of New Orleans — a citizen of the United States — is left to die a slow and painful death from starvation, lack of water, lack of care. They’re proving it with every day another citizen of New Orleans — a citizen of the United States — is left to rot in the sun.

When will we, the American people, stand together and say to the Bush Administration with its pseudo-christian posturing,


Categories: The Decline of America


2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Larry // Sep 4, 2005 at 12:27 pm


    We must hold the government accountable.

    We must demand that the Administration — Bush and Cheney — resign.

    We must demand that they appoint in their place new leaders.

    I nominate McCain and Gore.

  • 2 abi // Sep 6, 2005 at 12:32 am

    It bemuses me terribly that the people who don’t believe in biological Darwinism are so busy practicing social Darwinism.

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