|During A Real Disaster, Help Will Be Hard To Find|
A recent article on AdvancingTime opined upon how long it has been since America has had a really good leader. Sadly, the damage these "less than stellar" Presidents cause a lot of problems for society that generally linger for decades. With this in mind, it should be noted that bad leaders have a habit of opening Pandora's box for the greater good whenever a disaster strikes. It seems, to some politicians, that the only way the government can help us during a crisis is to focus on taking more control over our lives.
Recently some Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) documents released by the George W. Bush Presidential Library spotlighted the powers that modern presidents "claim they possess" in moments of crisis. Following 9-11, this type of expanding the Presidents powers could be viewed as a pure power grab. In short, during a national crisis government seems more interested in control than coming to the aid of its citizens. This caused all my feeling about thinking the government will come to your aid in a time of crisis to come flooding back.
The "presidential emergency action documents" (PEADs), were created during the cold war. This was at a time many people feared we might be attacked with nuclear weapons. These documents authorized the president to enact measures such as suspending habeas corpus, detaining "dangerous persons" within the country, censoring news media, and even preventing international travel.
The desire to extend power dovetails with today's high-profile disasters where the media generates the feeling our government stands ready to rush to our aid in case of a national disaster. Following a tornado or hurricane in the news, we often see FEMA workers spread out and moving from door to door offering help to Americans in need. This reassuring media coverage is misleading. The truth is if you find yourself in a large area of devastation due to a crisis or disaster the government will prove largely ineffective. If and when a really large Armageddon event does occur people affected will quickly become acutely aware that God helps those who help themselves.
The trend of pandering to victims that we have seen develop over the
years may be a result of the battering former President Bush took in
opinion polls following Hurricane Katrina. The pictures that the media
posted following a slow response in handling Katrina haunt his
administration and paint Bush as being insensitive and out of touch with
the plight of poor Americans. At what point did government become
responsible for dispensing sorrow and grief? With the bar to show
concern set at its current level little gets done in Washington.
Over the years in our media-driven world, the President has adopted the role of consoler in chief. This means they are expected to pour forth sympathy and cast out concern for every American following incidents of destruction or violence. It does not matter if it is an accident, shooting, or some natural disaster, in recent years all this has reached new heights where even in the case of a few deaths it is not uncommon to see the President leaping upon Air Force One and rushing to the scene or calling to express a huge dose of heartfelt sympathy. In this politically correct world, it has even gone so far as to the President being expected to weigh in on minor tragedies that occur throughout the world.
It should be noted that much time is wasted performing these acts that could be better used and focused on solving many of the real and pressing problems that face America. In reality, this pandering is a major disservice to Americans in that it fosters the impression that government will be there for you if you ever get into a pickle or jam. While reassuring to many the false illusion of a competent and effective government ready to come to your aid comes at the cost of raising unrealistic expectations.
I suspect that with the formation of the massive Homeland Security Agency this may be a case of reassuring the masses that their tax money has not been wasted. A perfect example would be the governments reaction to the Boston Marathon bombing. It was overwhelming but in the end, it was a homeowner checking the tarp on his boat that noticed a spot of blood and not the thousands of law enforcement officers that brought the manhunt to an end.
|No Government Is Ready For This!|
It is important to remember, that all disasters are not created equal. There is a huge difference between a tornado and a nuclear bomb going off in a major city. Also, what happens if the power-grid would fail and electrical power is lost over a large area for a month or more during inclement weather? In all reality, the Federal government would be relatively ineffective and not much help in a major crisis that covered a large area and affected tens of millions of Americans.
Anyone who has ever experienced the frustrations caused by a bad storm with power outages and such will tell you most help comes from nearby and government is not the answer. People who adopt the attitude that they are a victim following a real disaster and then simply wait for the government to arrive should expect to wait a very long time. Anyone counting on the government is making a huge mistake, simply waiting for help is the kiss of death.