social darwinism

I realize that the title is ironic due to the Administration’s (and their friends’) aversion to evolution etc, but anyway.

There’s an excellent viewpoint on the BBC today about how the New Orleans flood might, like the Great Depression, shock the American people and political landscape into a new era of social support, what with the sight of so many people devastated and the incompetence and, in my opinion more importantly and more sickeningly, complete lack of accountability and apparent caring from the government. We can only hope. Emma made the excellent point at the weekend that while the Hurricane Katrina tragedy has indeed been appalling, thousands upon thousands of Americans face their own tragedies each day as they are abandoned by the government – lack of decent schools, homes, healthcare, public safety – and we should be outraged by that as much as how offensively pathetic, confused and lost our President has been over the last couple of weeks.

The BBC article expands on that idea a bit, with the hope that we might see some good from the tragedy. I’m not so optimistic that things will change very quickly, despite GWB’s plummeting approval ratings (last week it was at 39%, with 2/3rds of those polled saying that the government could have done more to help the people on the Gulf Coast – so 1/3rd think they did enough??). I think that the right wingers, and Bush’s push for faith-based aid, will get in the way of people thinking that Government should provide all of the safety net – witness the huge giving to charitable organizations instead of calls to raise taxes and have the government take care of the people affected.

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