Wednesday, March 22, 2006

What Will It Take?: Seven Months After, and Still Waiting....

Today's front-page article in the New York Times, "Evacuees' Lives Still Upended Seven Months After Hurricane: Burdens and Frustration Linger," only further emphasizes the many reasons people across this country need to be organizing in new and dramatic ways to demand more adequate government support for evacuees and the community organizations and people of the Gulf Coast who continue to suffer from insufficient resources and support seven months after Katrina.

The President has made clear that he would rather continue to support tax cuts for the wealthy and an indefinitely extended war in Iraq, than adequately support the needs of the citizens of this country. If anything is to change, concerned citizens across this country need to organize in dramatic new ways to demand greater government accountability and response at all levels.

Why haven't there been major protests in front of the White House, and in cities across the nation, to castigate the immorality and unaccountability of a federal government that is willing to continue to invest billions of our tax dollars in a failed strategy in Iraq, while the citizens of this country are not being adequately served? Why aren't Washington politicians getting harried by a perpetual barrage of letters, emails, and phone calls from angry constituents demanding major changes of government policy to provide more robust support for Gulf Coast recovery?

Why could President Bush at his Washington press briefing yesterday get away with laughing and joking with the press, without being called repeatedly and persistently to account for the terrible moral wrongs of an executive policy more dedicated to providing tax cuts to the wealthy than to supporting decent health care and housing for the citizens of the Gulf Coast scattered across this country?

Where are the moral and political outrage required to demand a fundamental change in this administration's policy priorities?

Are the people and press of this country sleepwalking through the history of the present? Would the press rather brown-nose and laugh with this President than risk this President's displeasure by demanding that his administration change its policy priorities to serve the citizens of this country most in need?

If the continuing disastrous failure of response (of government, press, and policy) after Katrina is not enough to rouse the citizens of this nation to call for fundamental changes in this administration's priorities, what else will it take? Another Katrina, or worse?

The change that is needed will not wait until the next Presidential election. This year's congressional elections can be part of a change strategy, but even these elections are still 7 months in the future.

The citizens of the Gulf Coast need and deserve greater support from their/our government NOW, not seven months from now. The pressing question is: What will the citizens of this country do NOW to make sure our fellow citizens get the support they need?

Nothing much will change unless every one of the politicians up for reelection in November is clearly put on notice that he/she will not be reelected unless we begin to see major changes in policy priorities.

While the evacuees and residents of the Gulf Coast continue to suffer, no politician should feel secure about reelection.

So long as the evacuees are insecure, no politician should rest secure in office.


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