Last year around this time I was simultaneously pissed off and disillusioned. Watching the images coming at me via CNN of the New Orlans convention center gave me a surreal feeling that I was not witnessing an event in the United States. Surely, the US of A would not allow 40,000 people people to linger for five days in a rancid building without food and little water. Surely, my government would never fail to send desparately needed supplies and manpower in the form of our National Guard to the flooded homes of the Gulf Coast. But, that's what I was seeing.
One year later, it is important to reflect on the complete failure of the several layers of government to do what it is intended to do: serve its people. In times of disaster (from hurricanes to terrorist attacks) we turn to our government to help us. The government is our collective will, our common good, with the resources and agency to act in the service of those who we all agree need help.
But, that's not what I saw one year ago. And, it still makes me angry.
[photo from Mother Jones]