All those anti-government and press bashers, like Minnesota Rep. Michele
Bachman (R) and Texas Gov. Rick Perry, owe one to their governments and
When the hurricane winds were endangering liberals and conservatives, and floods were damaging Democratic and Republican citizens, Tea Partyers and socialists, up and down the East Coast, government officials worked all weekend with no extra salaries to inform and protect a worried public. They always aren’t successful, but when they are, as they were this weekend, we owe them a big thank you.
Local, state and federal officials stepped up and planned, informed and helped their publics, as they are meant to do. Our mayor was on television and in the streets informing the residents where to get free sandbags, what steps to take to prevent unnecessary injuries and providing resources to taxpayers (who had paid for them with their taxes) so they could avail themselves of these emergency perks. Our governor gave our local officials the authority and resources of the state that they needed to do what they could to deal with local problems. Our federal agencies dealing with these problems offered their expertise and resources. Even the president of the U.S. left his holiday to return to his office in Washington to be available to manage emergency measures for those who didn’t vote for him and those who didn’t vote at all. Lives were saved. Damages were minimized.
The media worked around the clock to present every bit of useful information to a worried public about the transpiring events. The Weather Channel popularized weather, made it comprehensible, interesting while frightening.
Government and media take a lot of well-earned criticism for what they do not do well. They deserve our praise now for all they did right this weekend.
Ronald Goldfarb is a Washington DC based lawyer and author.