Monday, September 05, 2005

Politics: Who, Who's, Whose...

There's a foul-breathed lupine lolling at America's door right now, and it wants to engage in a staring contest. Nobody wants to look it in the eye, however, because the truth glinting back from those depths is an awfully uncomfortable one, and it is this: In your moment of extremis, you are On Your Own.

"Who will get me out of harm's way?"

There are probably plans somewhere to help you get away, but as they say, "A plan is just a guess in a party dress." You may be rich or you may be poor; you may be a CNN junkie or you may live a life hermetically sealed off from the news; you may have a Benz, or a bike, a bus token, or maybe just some boots, but unless you are a minor child or a ward of the state, the ultimate responsibility for relocating your precious hide belongs to you and you alone. Where are you going to go, and how will you get there? The time to find out is now, not when the floodwaters are lapping at your ankles or the earthquake is dropping the ceiling on your head.

"Who's going to protect me?"

Well, lots of people want to, believe you me. There are policemen, firefighters, servicemen, and concerned citizens who, given time to respond and information on where to do so, will happily risk their lives to save you, but they can't be everywhere at once, and the odds of them being right there at the critical instant are pretty slim. When the moment comes, your first line of defense for yourself and those dependant on you is... you.

"Whose responsibility is it to put my life back together?"

Insurance companies can collapse. Employers can fold or enact layoffs. The economy could yo-yo at any time. When it comes down to it, the person responsible for putting food in your mouth and a roof over your head is the same person that stares out of the mirror at you every morning. Sure, there are charitable organizations, government agencies, and philanthropic individuals, and odds are good that there's help out there if you look for it, but if it dries up, you need to remember that the phrase "I thought they'd help me" contains 0% of the USRDA of eight essential vitamins and minerals; you can't eat it, and it wouldn't keep you alive if you could. You always need a fallback plan: What if that hurricane/earthquake/flood/riot hits my town? What if my employer goes under? What if the economy tanks? What if I get really sick? Be prepared for the bad things, lest they come up and bite thee. Do not wait for Republicans or Democrats or Independents to tell you whose fault it was or whose responsibility it is; it's yours.

This is the wealthiest nation ever. It is the most sophisticated and flexible economy that has yet graced our planet. But at that awful moment when the rubber meets the road, it will probably not be there for you. It's time to sit down and talk with the one person who will be there, and find out what they plan to do to answer those questions of "Who? Who's? Whose?" should the worst happen. Go find a mirror and see what their plans are.


Jenifer D. said...

Wealthy nation or not, girlfriend, our elected officials aren't the sharpest tools in the shed. Need proof? Look where most of our budget and military might is: Iraq, Afghanistan, Europe, The Balkans,Asia...everywhere, but, where they are needed most: American Soil. I gives a damn how wealthy the A fool and his money are easily parted.

Tam said...

" Wealthy nation or not, girlfriend, our elected officials aren't the sharpest tools in the shed."

When have they ever been? We seem to enjoy electing genial, well-meaning boobs to the Chief Executives position, at least within my memory, which goes back at least to Gerald Ford taking a header down the airstairs of AF One.

"Look where most of our budget and military might is"

What was our military might going to do about Katrina? Dig in on the beaches and call down FPF when it got within 300 meters of the shore?
The military's job is to kill people and break their $h!t, which Katrina seemed to do just fine without anybody's help. Saying "Our military was in far-off lands when the hurricane hit" is like saying "My accordion was in the living room when the grease fire happened in the kitchen...

Jenifer D. said...

FYI, I am Active Duty Military for the last 18 years and reenlisting for four more next week. Our troops should be on site to help with evacuation operations at a moment's notice Tam, not somewhere else in the world tending the personal agendas of our RWC boys on Capital Hill, are we tracking? As for killing folks and breaking things....we can't do that anymore, we might get in trouble. ;-)

Tam said...

" FYI, I am Active Duty Military for the last 18 years and reenlisting for four more next week."

A sincere Thank You for your service.

This puts you, no doubt, in an excellent position to realize that those hardpoints under an F-15's wings are for creating refugees, not comforting them.

"are we tracking?"

One of us is. ;-)

Jenifer D. said...

Don't get me started on those hacks in D.C.! Politics has infected America like an incurable strain of STD. As for the F-15's? Nothing more than expensive hang-gliders.