Katrina, Responsibility, and the Far Right
My Far Right (read: Libertarian) sentiments come in two branches. One branch looks at the inaction of the irresponsible federal, state, and local Governments, and says: "See, told you Guv' 'mint was useless." But the second branch from the Far Right in me looks at the "victims" we see on television and, well, harbors thoughts that sound a lot like "blaming the victim". Last night, the television showed an 18-year-old boy commandeering a school bus and driving it, full of desperate passengers, all the way to safety in Houston. Other images show "looters" "stealing" water, food, and other survival essentials. The Far Right sentiments in me watch this behavior and applaud people taking personal responsibility for their own survival. These same sentiments in me look at other images of "helpless" people, and can't help but wonder what percentage of those helpless people count themselves among the welfare recipients of that place. These sentiments say that if one raises a child to be self reliant, she will be so. But if instead, one raises her to be helpless, then that is what she will be. Has the well-meaning "butter" half of "guns 'n butter" created an entire class of people who see themselves as helpless? Has Hurricane Katrina exposed the soft underbelly of this nation -- an underbelly comprised of legions who can't imagine fending for themselves?