What happened in the aftermath of Katrina is exactly what you can expect to happen when the people running the government are wedded to an ideology that says the government shouldn’t be in the business of helping people who can’t help themselves. Barrack Obama pointed it out after the disaster, and it’s pretty much what I said peviously.
It’s no shock that most of the dead in New Orleans were among the “weakest of the week,” those who were too old or infirm to fend for themselves, and those who were too young to fend for themselves if separated from parents or other adults. That’s the expected outcome of a philosophy that basically boils down to “survival of the fittest”; in the case those physically and economically “fit” enough to get themselves out of the way of the hurricane.
It’s the logical outcome of mindset founded in social darwinism, which fits right in with the conservative “wealth is well-being is virtue” ideal I mentioned earlier. It’s not just the physically or economically strong that survive (indeed that should survive, according to this POV), but the morally strong as well, because economic strength (manifested as material well-being, and the ability to move out of harms way) implies moral strength. Thus, poverty implies moral weakness.
And there is no obligation on the part of the morally strong to save the morally weak, because moral weakness is always a choice. The poor, then, have it coming. That the dead being recovered in New Orleans now simply had the misfortune of being old and poor, or being born into poverty, doesn’t figure into the equation somehow.
But Bill O’Reilly and George Will were the only conservatives bold enough to say it even as New Orleans was under water. (Tom Delay, Barbara Bush, and Richard Baker deserve a nod for simply speaking their minds without actually thinking.) If you’re too poor to afford an SUV to get you and yours out of harm’s way, you deserve whatever you get.
And, continuing my YouTube fixation from this weekend, here’s a brief video compilation.