Let’s keep our eyes on the ball folks. Hurricane Sandy made landfall last Monday night. The Frankenstorm cut a swath along the east coast before taking a ride on the New York City subway system and turning West Virginia into a winter wonderland. Trading on Wall Street was suspended, and both the President and Republican challenger Mitt Romney retooled campaign plans due to these circumstances.
While recovery efforts are of the utmost importance, and disaster relief is an essential emergency service of the government do not mistake FEMA doing its job with the inevitable photo op for the president to mug for the camera in an attempt to look presidential. If you need too little too late common sense for the common person such as buy water, and seal your windows, the president is your man.
Word came simultaneously from the Romney campaign that though weather events necessitated change to his speaking schedule, all campaign offices would remain open in order to collect donations of relief supplies for immediate transportation to affected areas.
Given the critical nature of the storm, one might consider it a bad time to try to rack up political mileage. Seven million homes without power. Disruption of essential services in eleven states. New York City experiencing death, fire, and destruction as night drew on. Before any of that, before Hurricane, now Superstorm Sandy had even made landfall President Obama’s political allies were trying to use the tragic weather event for political gain, citing that Romney would shutter FEMA, labeling it an immoral agency. Evidently aware of the albatross hanging around his neck they’ll do anything to shift the public eye away from important issues like the big honking storm taking up so much real estate on most weather maps.
The fact is, the misquoting of Romney’s remarks from 2011 were nothing short of utter fabrication. Mitt’s remarks on the shrinking of the federal government by delegating to the states, those things for which the states are better suited to deal with while not relinquishing the federal government’s responsibility is something that makes a lot of sense. No wonder the administration’s goons don’t get it…
The size and scope of the federal government is bigger than it has ever been. How can someone in Washington D.C. understand the immediacy of needs in Albany, Georgia or Springfield, Ohio when (God forbid) there is a disaster? They can’t! It often takes a week or more for anyone from the federal government to find their way off DuPont Circle and out into the rest of the country. Your city, county, and state governments are a much bigger target and are more able to respond quickly to local needs. FEMA delegates to state and local agencies anyway, so why not take out the middleman and speed up the process.
This election is the most important in our history. It is about the continuation of our way of life. It is about putting down the empty promises of hope and change and rolling up our sleeves. It is time for Americans to by-gum start acting like it. Divisive speeches, unwarranted attacks, and the fabrication of less than factual ads are the tools of a domestic enemy of the American people.
We the imperfect people of this land of opportunity have before us the opportunity to affirm our belief in the strength of our constitution. It is a chance to stand up, be loyal to our nation, and sustain the ideals that are America. To make a choice not based on pop-culture trends that will never stand the tests of time. It is time for my nation that I love to tighten its belt and pull its self up by the bootstraps. We can dig out and rebuild. But, if we don’t do it as a nation united, one of common purpose, moving toward a vision of America as the Land of the free and the home of the brave, then they might as well change the sign at Ellis Island to Foreclosed and turn the light out on the American Dream.
Jim Layne is husband, father and veteran. He firmly believes in God and family first, Duty, Honor, Courage and a lot of other old fahioned ideals. A self confessed news junky, he distills the rhetoric down to its essential salts and serves it up in plain spoken terms.