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Chuck Baldwin
Sep. 13, 2005

The blame game has been in full swing ever since Hurricane Katrina crashed into the Louisiana and Mississippi Gulf Coast. Democrats want to use the disaster as a means to criticize the Bush administration. Republicans blame the Mayor of New Orleans and the Governor of Louisiana, both Democrats. However, one theme seems constant: the call for more involvement by the federal government.

For example, a Washington Post report dated Friday, September 9, 2005 begins, "The breakdown of local and state agencies that tried to respond to Hurricane Katrina has spurred fresh debate about whether disasters of such magnitude ought to be turned over to the U.S. military and other federal authorities to manage at the outset."

The Post quotes Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld as saying, "The would-be first responders at the state and local level were themselves victims in very large numbers." The Post further reported Rumsfeld as saying, "the [federal] government would likely address again the question of 'lead responsibility' for the Defense Department in disaster response." The Post article also said, "He [Rumsfeld] noted that the issue was critical not only in responding to a natural catastrophe but also to a terrorist attack."

The Post story continued by saying, "Some homeland defense specialists have argued since Katrina struck that national plans must be revised to provide for a bigger and faster federalized effort, particularly in large-scale disasters."

The Post is not alone in highlighting the call for more federal involvement in America's domestic problems. The same day the Post report ran, the most influential newspaper in the U.S., The New York Times, also ran a major story on the subject. Furthermore, most every television and radio news outlet in the country has echoed the identical sentiment. One could even say that the media is clamoring for a federal government take-over of all domestic emergencies.

That the major media would demand more federal involvement in America's domestic affairs should not surprise us. After all, the vast majority of the media elite is composed of liberals who intrinsically believe that more government is always better no matter what the problem! What is disturbing (and somewhat new) is the fact that even conservatives have jumped on the "more federal government" bandwagon.

Instead of addressing the real weaknesses and needs of our nation, conservatives have abandoned their traditional principles of less government and more personal responsibility and have become nothing more than liberals in conservatives' clothing.

The lessons of New Orleans should be as obvious as the nose on one's face:

  1. The total lack of foresight by city and state officials to address the engineering concerns of the levees surrounding the city, concerns that had been often expressed for many years;

  2. that New Orleans (and even the state of Louisiana) has had more than its share of political corruption;

  3. the absolute breakdown of morality and decency in the city of New Orleans, a breakdown that was encouraged by leaders at every level of the city;

  4. the need of individuals to be self-reliant and personally prepared for unexpected emergencies. As with a host of America's major cities, many people within the city of New Orleans know only how to live day to day off the government teat and commonly demonstrate little appreciation for personal responsibility;

  5. the refusal of the city of New Orleans to effectively deal with crime and criminals.

All of the above contributed greatly to the tragic aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Instead of addressing any of the salient issues, however, the only thing that anyone seems to come up with is, "We need more involvement from the federal government." But before we go to seed on giving the federal government carte blanche to solve our domestic problems, we need to consider carefully what we would be getting.

Do we really want the U.S. military taking over domestic law enforcement responsibilities? Are we prepared for martial law? Are we prepared to surrender our freedoms and liberties under the rubric of "national emergency?" Are we willing to allow military forces to go house to house confiscating firearms (which they are doing in New Orleans)? In short, are we ready to discard constitutional government and turn America into a police state?

The answer to the above questions will determine what kind of nation will evolve in the near future, because you can be sure that there are more "national emergencies" lurking around the corner for our country. And if we are not careful, the sight of military forces going house to house confiscating firearms will be seen in every city in America, not just in New Orleans!

Chuck Baldwin

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