Tuesday, September 20, 2005
With perhaps a week left in the nation's attention span for Hurricane Katrina, there's one issue that, typically, has been overlooked. That is the influence of special interests, which will determine the future of the Gulf Coast, just as they decide everything from weapons contracts to health insurance coverage. In this example, the educated guess says that particularly influential big businesses will combine with extreme environmentalists (which doesn't define those who, for example, advocate expansion and reinforcement of the Bayou wetlands) to cobble together a solution that takes neither the long-term nor present realities into account.
All that to say that, within 20 years, New Orleans will face a similar catastrophe. And, likely, it will be even less prepared than it was three weeks ago.
No, you may argue, we won't forget the human misery on display durring the hurricane's aftermath. Yes we will. Recent history teaches us just that, as witnessed by the inability of Congress to pass a bill creating a unified communications network for first responders. Seems logical, considering the difficulty police and fire departments in New York had with technological coordinations on September 11th.
Congress hasn't moved on the proposal (by John McCain and Joe Lieberman) because the brodcast networks are united in lobbying against it. The broadcast networks give a lot of money to political candidates (of both parties ... it's not politics, it's good business), so the end result is way too predictable. Corners will be cut, and new, inefficient bureaucracies will be created to deal with future natural disasters.
There will face no significant opposition to either, except when opposition benefits certain partisans. Voters will be otherwise occupied; whenever they are asked to rank the importance of reducing political corruption, they typically place it below diversity as an issue that matters.
Nothing will change. And the circle will be unbroken, until partisans step back and unite on the unavoidable fact that both Tom DeLay and Nancy Pelosi are bought and paid for. So are George W. Bush and Hillary Clinton. Instead of voting against whichever special interests you find most vile, try voting for someone who at least is bothered by the system as it stands.