GrokMart

Spanning the globe for insights into human behavior and persuasion.

9.14.2005

 

Political Hay

Politics to me are fascinating and maddening all at once: fascinating, because I get to see persuasion at work and maddening because words and persuasive techniques are used to distort and convolute.

I am tired of politicians using the New Orleans tragedy to make political hay. Those who place the problems with emergency response squarely on the shoulders of Pres. Bush are either being intellectually dishonest or have partisan tunnel vision.

The Bush administration has made mistakes. They should have known much earlier that state and local authorities couldn't handle the aftermath of Katrina. Their problem was decisiveness. He said as much yesterday.

But government responsibility rests solidly with the State of Louisiana and the City of New Orleans. They had disaster plans, but they didn't have the resources or the foresight or the leadership to implement them.

Ultimately, however, the responsibility lies with the citizens themselves. They, just as their governments, had plenty of warning--years of it. Since 9/11, the govt has been encouraging all of us to have family preparedness kits. If more citizens would have taken more responsibility for themselves and their families, the New Orleans tragedy would have been less about the loss of human life.

But the "If only..." game is just as fruitless as the blame game. In the aftermath of Katrina, we should be completely focused on doing our level best to help those in need and doing our level best, as citizens and as governments, to be better prepared for when the next natural or man-made disaster strikes.

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