Saturday, July 10, 2010

more on fire boats

I have more to say about fire boats.

Fire boats were used by the US coast guard to put out the flaming oil rig in the gulf of Mexico at the end of April. Fire boats were our collective response to our collective problem, which in this case was oil dependency. Of course the fire boats did not stop the oil leaking or even hope to cure us of oil dependency. They just responded to the emergency.

I've been thinking since I wrote my rant last night that our political debates center around such fire boats. Democrats advocate fire boats, and that the government should provide them, with an underlying tone that they will solve our true problems. I'm talking here about welfare, unemployment insurance, VA hospitals, after-school programs, controlling guns. The sense from the democratic party is that by responding with fire boats, our problems will go away. But without the underlying causes of poverty, joblessness, war, poor education and violence lessened, the interventions advocated for by democrats spray problems while the gushing oil exacerbates underneath.

Republicans rightly understand that the democrats' fire boats are incapable of solving our problems. But often I find that the policies the Republicans advocate worsen the fires, instead of push against their causes. Pushing most often in the direction of leaving the needy to fend for themselves, corporate interests, attacking our enemies, tax cuts for the very rich, and access to semi-automatic weapons, the Republicans often widen the gaping, gushing holes.

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