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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 10/30/12

Sandy, Meet Mitt -- Your Best Friend!

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Sandy, you are one mean hurricane!  While you are not a Category Five, you have covered more of this great nation than any previous hurricane in recorded history, doing immense damage to property and causing dozens of deaths and hundreds of injuries.  But, Sandy, lest you feel friendless, you have a true friend in Republican Presidential Nominee Mitt Romney.  If Mitt had his way, it would be up to each individual American State to deal with you and your aftermath.  The Federal government would have neither the capability nor the responsibility to handle you, Sandy, nor any other disaster.

You see, Sandy, according to the October 29 New York Times , Mitt Romney "was asked in a Republican primary debate last year whether emergency management was a function that should be returned to the states.  He not only agreed, he went further.  'Absolutely,' he said. 'Every time you have an occasion to take something from the federal government and send it back to the states, that's the right direction.  And if you can go even further and send it back to the private sector, that's even better."  So it would seem, Sandy, that were Mitt Romney ever to come to power, he would be your best friend, helping you to wreak havoc throughout the Northeastern region of the United States with impunity!

For the truth, Sandy, is that neither the states nor the private sector have the capability or the resources to cope with storms like you, and all of the other natural disasters which strike more and more often as we abuse our planet.  And, of course, it is even more absurd for anyone to think that societal disasters such as terrorism could ever be controlled at the state level or as a private activity.  All sensible people know that there are some things which we can only do effectively if we do them collectively -- things like fighting natural and societal disasters, mitigating their consequences, and preventing their recurrence to the maximum extent possible.  I learned those lessons personally while serving as an emergency management coordinator in Vermont, as New Hampshire's Hazard Mitigation Consultant, and as a FEMA volunteer and disaster assistance employee.

Soon, Sandy, you will be only a ghost of hurricanes past, like Katrina, Rita, and all of the others.  Americans will grit their teeth and start digging out and repairing your damage.  But were Mitt Romney to come to power, future damage from hurricanes and other major disasters would be infinitely worse than it will turn out to be now,  tragic effects would be much more profound, and recovery would take far longer.  Tough luck for you, Sandy, that Mitt Romney is not in power -- yet!
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Author's Biography Eugene Elander has been a progressive social and political activist for decades. As an author, he won the Young Poets Award at 16 from the Dayton Poets Guild for his poem, The Vision. He was chosen Poet Laureate of (more...)

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