It’s how you’re willing to look at it
After hurricane Katrina I found myself unwilling to stomach the political scene. It seemed to me that a natural disaster lacks a tangible source of blame. This in my eyes was a positive in that as a nation we could put aside our differences both petty and serious and work together.
Immediately the fingerpointing and race baiting began. It seemed that for every 5 sites I read 3 were taking joy out of the suffering of others because in their minds blaming the other side proved their own thoughts to be fact instead of merely opinion.
I didn’t want to play this game and for awhile it seemed that I was one in a small minority of the population, but now maybe that minority is starting to grow and become the majority.
Democratic strategist Donna Brazile, a woman who I have often found myself less than respectfully disagreeing with took a bold step towards healing this nation in her op ed:
On Thursday night President Bush spoke to the nation from my city. I am not a Republican. I did not vote for George W. Bush — in fact, I worked pretty hard against him in 2000 and 2004. But on Thursday night, after watching him speak from the heart, I could not have been prouder of the president and the plan he outlined to empower those who lost everything and to rebuild the Gulf Coast.
Bush called on every American to stand up and support the rebuilding of the region. He told us that New Orleans and the entire Gulf Coast would rise from the ruins stronger than before. He enunciated something that we all need to remember: This is America. We are not immune to tragedy here, but we are strong because of our industriousness, our ingenuity and, most important, because of our compassion for one another. We are a nation of rebuilders and a nation of givers. We do not give up in the face of tragedy, we stand up, and we reach out to help those who cannot stand up on their own.
I know, maybe better than anyone, that there are times when it seems that our nation is too divided ever to heal. There are times when we feel so different from each other that we can hardly believe that we are all part of the same family. But we are one nation. We are a family. And this is what we do. When the president asked us to pitch in Thursday night, he wasn’t really asking us to do anything spectacular. He was asking us to be Americans, and to do what Americans always do.
The President that Donna Brazile saw Thursday evening is the same man that people like me have seen since September 11th 2001. She saw a President that asks us to strive to a higher calling and make the sacrifices that are needed to make our world both here at home and abroad a better place.
I’m not looking for Ms Brazile to suddenly become a card carrying supporter of the war in Iraq, nor am I looking for her to change her party affiliation. She believes strongly in those things which set our parties apart and that is her right. I am however hopeful that this may mean that at least one liberal does not see those of us who share our President’s vision as vacant headed foot soldiers. I hope that she can see that just as she can share the Presidents vision of a rebuilt and prosperous New Orleans there are those of us who find it just as easy to share the Presidents vision of a free and prosperous Iraq.
A couple days ago Joseph Farah had an article addressing the differences between liberals and conservatives. He spoke at length about how although conservatives are winning the battles in the war of ideas we are still losing the war. His explanation although disheartening made a great deal of sense to me
Liberals he states have a “clear vision” of where they want to take our country. We may not like their vision but they have proved to be unwaivering in promoting it. Conservatives however seem content only to “protect the staus quo“. We balk at bold initiatives and immediately start whinning about price tags, unless of course the iniative is something we were inclined to support.
Lately I’ve seen many of my fellow conservatives denounce President Bush as a true conservative and cite the projected cost of rebuilding the lives of those in the Gulf Coast as proof of this.
Ok I give maybe you are right, maybe he isn’t a “true” conservative. Maybe his party affiliation card should read “caring human being”.
Just perhaps that’s the only label any of us should choose to accept.