Tornadoes And Conservatism

The horrible events of the past few days in which multiple tornadoes and hurricanes swept through large areas of the South compelled me to think about the issue of government and responsibility to individuals. Just about every southern Republican governor whose state was impacted is now clamoring for Federal assistance to cope with the disaster. Conservatives often argue that natural disasters allow individuals to receive assistance from the government. But, for some strange reason it is acceptable to receive government aid if your home was destroyed by a tornado but you are not eligible if your life savings were destroyed by Wall Street bankers. Millions of people had their jobs destroyed due to business mistakes, actions by Wall Street bankers and stock brokers, but conservatives insist this is not an example in which the government can come to the aid of individuals.

There is a basic inconsistency in Conservative political philosophy pertaining to the role of government. The Federal government created the Internet, the Federal government is responsible for our transcontinental railroads and highways and conservatives have no problem with such government actions. In other words, if business needs government money, then it is beneficial to society to provide them funding, but if individuals require government funds, it somehow destroys their moral fiber.

We live in strange times. We inhabit a society in which the rich are right and entitled to the benefits of the nation, but if you are poor, then head for the nearest church and solicit some soup.