So, you say you want a revolution?
In this aerial view, boats sit grounded in a woodland area and along the side of the road after being pushed by rising water from Hurricane Ian near Fort Myers Beach on September 29, 2022 in San Carlos Island, Florida. The hurricane brought high winds, storm surge and rain to the area causing severe damage. (Photo by Win McNamee | Getty Images)
The unspeakable tragedy and human suffering of the “one in a thousand years” floods and devastating winds of Hurricane Ian once again puts the relationship between the states and federal government in perspective. And once again, it is the South, home to the so-called “confederates” who continue to disparage the Union, that has its hands out for billions in disaster relief funds.
Maybe, just maybe, those howling for insurrection from Mar-a-Lago might want to consider where they’d be without the federal government they love to hate.
Suddenly, the vicious snarling of Florida’s radical right-wing governor Ron DeSantis has been subsumed by the reality that the little dictatorship he’s trying to build cannot deal with the level of death, displacement and destruction wrought by the latest “superstorm.” Suddenly, all his blather denying the climate crisis is proven false as the warming ocean feeds disastrous storms, ravaging the state he pretends to lead independent of the federal government and our Constitution.
But of course Florida and DeSantis aren’t alone in their delusions of grandeur and active resistance against a government that, at its core, is pledged to provide the “greatest good for the greatest number.”
Take Louisiana and its oil and gas cartel.
The state’s politicians, being in thrall to the fossil fuel industry, have fought every attempt to transition the nation to clean, renewable, non-carbon energy. Why? The simplest of reasons —they’re making billions hand over fist by drilling, refining, selling and exporting the nation’s fossil fuels. And they are such greedy profiteers President Biden has already had to warn them about trying to use the hurricane as an excuse to once-again “gouge” the public with artificially-inflated prices.
Even worse, in his “vote trading” scheme he demanded that if any solar or wind projects are built on federal land an equal amount of acres must be leased for fossil fuel development.
Then there’s Texas — you know, the state you don’t want to “mess with.” The state whose deregulated “Goldilocks” energy infrastructure is so unreliable it can’t function if it’s too hot or too cold.
Say what you want about Joe Biden, but his long experience in national policy is serving these Southern ingrates well in their time of great need. Unlike his predecessor, who threatened to withhold federal coronavirus relief funds from “blue states,” Biden doesn’t run the presidency like a mob boss, but fulfills his role as the nation’s leader to serve all the people, regardless of political affiliation.
There’s great wisdom in “united we stand, divided we fall.” As once again illustrated by the ravages of ever-more-powerful superstorms, it’s long past time that these insurrectionists and rebel politicians realize they’d be absolutely toast without the aid of the federal government — and start acting like part of the Union, not the foolish and failed revolutionaries they pretend to be.
George Ochenski is a longtime Helena resident, an environmental activist and Montana’s longest running columnist.
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