Grassroots Commentary

Comparing Leaders

L.E. Brown · Feb. 27, 2014

Snow/sleet/freezing rain struck North Carolina the last week of January and the first week of February.

Let’s compare how leaders and average folks in the state’s capital, Raleigh, responded to similar situations in other places, such as New York City, New Orleans and New Jersey, the first two governed by Democrats, more correctly known as progressives or liberals, and the latter governed by a so-called “moderate” Republican, also referred to, and more correctly, as a Democrat, progressive or liberal.

When Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans, thousands of people didn’t leave the city for various reasons, including that no transportation for them was available or they were so used to government caring for them they didn’t know how to act, because they had long since lost the ability to think and plan, a result of never having to do those things because their progressive governments did it for them.

In the midst of the second storm many people in Raleigh were stranded and many abandoned their cars on roads covered with ice and/or snow.

One could say that the plight of citizens was the fault of government leaders or weather forecasters. Although predictions were that the second storm would bring snow-ice to the region, it came a few hours earlier than most experts predicted and with a fury not expected.

As a result, many employers didn’t dismiss their employees until about noon, when the snow was already rapidly accumulating. So those of the liberal/Democrat/progressive bent would likely blame the Raleigh city government and the state’s governor.

But with the help of law enforcement, some National Guardsmen, and neighborly folks, the victims of the storm in the Raleigh area got home, or to another safe haven. Reportedly, no one lost their life during this ordeal, or was seriously injured.

In contrast, many of those stranded in New Orleans were killed by Hurricane Katrina.

In Raleigh, as soon as it was safe, drivers went back to retrieve their vehicles, without being prodded by city officials. For those vehicles that had to be towed, towers hired by the city tried to tow cars to a place as near as possible to where they were left by motorists.

In New York City, police and city administrators were at a loss as to how to coordinate vehicle removal, and days after the storm had gone, cars were still parked in the street. Presumably, many motorists stayed in their homes waiting for instructions from the mayor/governor/president.

New Orleans mayor Ragin’ Ray Nagin blamed anybody he could think of. He claimed that the city had a FEMA-approved emergency plan, 500 pages long, but apparently it couldn’t be found. Besides, nearly half of the city’s administrators were functionally illiterate.

To be fair, let’s state that now, years after Katrina, it has finally emerged that Ragin’ Ray may have had a plausible excuse for a lack of guidance from him. He unfortunately got stranded in a hotel being feted and accepting gifts, for which he might now go to jail.

When Hurricane Sandy struck, the New York City mayor was snug and warm in his 30-room mansion, pondering a momentous decision about the future of the size of soft drink bottles.

Hundreds of New Yorkers didn’t know who the mayor was, some thought that the guy promoting smaller sodas on television was a paid advertising person.

The New Jersey governor was widely seen heaping lavish praise on the president and the whole federal government for their magnificent performance in saving people hit by Hurricane Sandy.

Yet, many say that assistance from the northern state leaders was absent for the first few days after Sandy, and even today hundreds of applications for aid are waiting to be processed.

The point is that people who have become so docile while living under conditions where government is their benefactor are no longer capable of acting responsibly when catastrophes occur.

And help from the government is virtually non-existent the first few days after an event occurs.

Thereafter, it is likely to take years, if ever, for the little people to get any relief from their masters and keepers, their government.

L.E. Brown, Jr. is an independent writer, based in Magnolia, N.C. Contact him via [email protected]

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