I continue to be amazed as I watch people I know, people I trust, people I respect just continue to be twisted up in the division and political rhetoric that has become commonplace politics in America these days. I will give examples, but I never remember my parents, or grandparents becoming so divided and easily manipulated into spouting off talking points as I see numerous times everyday. Maybe it is because we have become a society that no longer values consensus, or one that has forgotten how to compromise. Maybe it is because social media, blogging, and viral videos has turned everyone into certified experts in everything. Maybe it’s true, society has gotten so dumbed down that the movie Idiocracy is playing out before our very eyes.
The latest flights of lunacy involve the current situation with the flooding and devastation in Louisiana over the past week or so. The American Red Cross says it is the worst disaster to befall the United States since Superstorm Sandy hit the east coast. Upwards of one hundred thousand homes were flooded, some went completely underwater. Some people still haven’t been able to get back into their homes to even assess the extent of the damage and loss they have suffered yet. Thousands of people are still in shelters, without a place to go, and with no material possessions left.
I am of the mind that any and all focus we can get to start the aid process for these families is where we need to be at this time. That goes for every politician, from every political affiliation, and whether they are running for office or not. Now is the time to rally the troops, so to speak, get the people, the resources, and the money needed for rebuilding and making these people’s lives whole again as soon as humanly possible flowing this way. Time to organize donation drives, fundraisers, and help get volunteers down into the areas where work can start.
Now, for the most part, the rest of my fellow Cajuns (I despise the word Louisianians) have done that. Many of us have worked in every way we can to make sure that people were retrieved, then taken to safety, many made sure that these victims of this natural disaster had a place to sleep, clean clothes to wear, and delicious food made with love to sustain them. I took to social media, and then the airwaves to get the information out that these victims needed to start rebuilding once the waters subsided. That has now become a mission to help organizers get the word out so that the people that can help others know where they can go to offer their love and support. This has come in the form of donations of food, water, items, money, and most importantly many people have volunteered their time to assist in whatever way they are needed.
The outpouring from our state has been tremendous. There are so many great stories of people working together to get the people and resources needed to the places and people that are so desperate for assistance right now. I have talked to people that essentially loaded up by the busload from unaffected areas to drive into the devastation to help people they’ve never met before, because they knew it needed to be done.
What upsets me is the political games being played by politicians up and down the scorecard, from both sides of the aisle with this tragedy. What has happened here should never become a political talking point. It’s not just the campaigns doing this, but it is getting down to people are are normally friends getting into a knock down, drag out fight (thankfully usually on social media) over defending their candidate of choice.
A politician coming to show support to the flood victims, or deciding to staying away for whatever reason should not become a social media argument where foul language is used, names are called, and people belittled. There are many ways to support the people affected here, and not everyone will make the same choices. No one wants to watch American citizens suffer. While a visit and a few minute conversation with an elected official or candidate may be a great distraction, most people now are more concerned with picking up the pieces and getting their lives back together.
While on this point, belittling someone because they took time to come down, bring toys for the kids, supplies for the victims, gave money to help, plus took time to visit with not only state and local officials coordinating the relief efforts, but also visited the affected area, as well as spent time talking to those people that have lost so much doesn’t help your cause. Pointing out that he only spent moments helping unload the TRUCK LOAD of toys and supplies he brought with him, or that he refused to eat the food prepared for the victims makes you look petty and vindictive, not the person you are trying to demean. Yes, in this case we’re talking about Trump, but I will most likely have to revisit this same train of thought after Obama visits on Tuesday, and his detractors attempt to dissect his time down here.
I’ll be blunt, which shouldn’t be a surprise. The complete focus, especially for anyone from Louisiana should be to help our fellow Cajuns recover, rebuild, and return to their normal lives as soon as possible. Help get the damage mitigated. Help those who need it find the assistance they need. We should welcome any who wish to come help. It doesn’t matter if they come with a truck full of tools, an 18 wheeler full of donations, or a gaggle of national media. It will all help get the word out, which only gets our friends and family more assistance.
November will be here before we know it. If you’ve made your choices great, if not, you have time before you cast your ballot. Please, stop all the political posturing. End all the bickering and bull. Find the friends and family that are in need right now. HELP THEM.