Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Politics of Weather

For the second consecutive Republican National Convention, a hurricane has caused the opening day to be cancelled. In 2008, Hurricane Gustav threatened to hit New Orleans at the start of the RNC in Minneapolis-Saint Paul, Minnesota. Though the Twin Cities are quite safe from any hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico, Gustav's timing proved a public relations nightmare for the political party that saw its president rendered completely impotent on August 29th, 2005 when Hurricane Katrina turned the Big Easy into the American Venice. President Bush's approval ratings sank below the 50% mark and never crossed into the majority for the remainder of his second term.

What Gustav managed to do, though, was cause the Republicans to cancel on the very night that President Bush and Vice President Cheney were scheduled to give speeches to the conventioneers. This actually worked to McCain's benefit, as he didn't really want that duo to speak at his convention and remind Americans about the party in power.

Here we are in 2012 and another hurricane had the good timing to arrive on the U.S. coastline just as the Republican National Convention is ready to start. There were early projections that it might head towards Tampa, which would have turned the convention center site into a convenient hurricane shelter. Rush Limbaugh even managed to blame Obama for the hurricane, as though our president had the Godlike powers to create a hurricane out of thin air and wreak havoc on the Republican's party. When natural disasters strike liberal cities in the U.S. for foreign countries, Pat Robertson (and Jerry Falwell when he was alive) love to claim that God was punishing the location for their sinful ways. However, this time, Robertson seems to have lost his voice. I haven't heard him release any kind of statement. How convenient!

Well, Tampa got spared. Isaac is making a beeline towards New Orleans, and is expected to arrive there tomorrow on the 7th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. The timing is amazing. Is God, the Universe, or Mother Nature trying to send a message? Especially when the Republican Party is still promoting their small government / Ayn Rand propaganda nonsense. Grover Norquist is famous for saying that the just wanted to shrink government to the size where it could drown in the bathtub. That's exactly what Katrina showed us. When you elect a bunch of anti-government corporate businessmen to run the country, you will get graft and incompetence. Bush had appointed Michael Brown the head of FEMA, who had zero experience in disaster relief organizations. His biggest claim to fame involved horse trading.

Let me make this clear, though. I do not believe that God causes natural disasters. I believe that God created our world with natural laws and allows it to operate on its own. I also believe that humanity has a symbiotic relationship with our Mother Earth. We are poisoning the planet and depleting resources at an unsustainable rate. For whatever reason that Isaac has decided to show up at this time, on this anniversary date, I think we should pay attention because if Americans elect the duo being coronated in Tampa this week, we are likely to experience destruction the likes we've never seen. Not to be alarmist, but I simply do not understand why anyone would vote for a candidate who claims to hate government. After all, there is not a single corporation that will hire as a CEO anyone who claims to hate business. People with business degrees should get jobs in the corporate world. Those with political science, economics, or legal degrees should work in government. Think about this: would you rather buy a car from an autoworker who hated his job or one who loved his job?

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