I read this morning that some people, especially in Congress, question whether a legitimate role of government is to help people deal with and recover from catastrophe. The argument, as I understand it, is that neighbors, not government, should help neighbors during catastrophe. Communities should help themselves; government should not step in to do what neighbors ought to do.
I contend that government is simply a formal version of neighbors-helping-neighbors. Government is an amalgamation of neighbors, joined together for a common cause. Government is of the people. It is the people. What is it about government that makes people feel so strongly that it is only a medium for handouts?
The Texas Republican delegation in Congress, almost to a person, voted against providing funding for the recovery from Hurricane Sandy. The fact that they opted to abandon their neighbors to the north may come back to bite them; I hope that bite comes only in the form of a political lashing, rather than in the form of a lesson in hypocrisy. I don’t think there’s any question that the people in Texas want and need federal financial support to help cover from Hurricane Harvey. I wonder whether the Texas Republican delegation will be hypocritical, or whether they will vote against support for Hurricane Harvey victims. I hope they reveal themselves as hypocrites, rather than giving their political philosophies greater import than their constituents’ well-being.