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Remember What Happened after Katrina

Remember this mobile billboard, used in protests after Hurricane Katrina?

Grover Norquist and his allies are still trying to “shrink government.”

  • Ovide LaMontagne wants to “shrink government.”
  • House Speaker William O’Brien wants to “shrink government.”
  • Charlie Bass wants to “shrink government.”
  • Frank Guinta wants to “shrink government.”
  • Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan want to “shrink government.”

But where would we be now – a year after Hurricane Irene – without a government that could repair roads and replace bridges?

How long would it have taken to get electricity restored, after Irene, without all the state employees and municipal workers who worked 12-hour shifts every single day for weeks, to get the roads open so the linemen could do their jobs?

Those residents trapped by the rising Saco River – what might have happened to them, if there had been no emergency workers to rescue them?

Our government is supposed to be “of the people, by the people, for the people.”

When President Lincoln was speaking at Gettysburg, he wasn’t talking about just the top 1%.  He wasn’t talking about the 53% of people that Mitt Romney believes are worthy of his attention.  (Remember the $50,000-a-head fundraiser video?  The full transcript is available here.)

President Lincoln was talking about all the people.  A government for all the people.

That’s your choice, this election year.  Candidates who want to “shrink government” versus candidates who –like President Lincoln – believe in a government for all people.

As Hurricane Sandy’s winds swirl across the eastern United States, think about the difference between our government’s response to Hurricane Katrina and to Hurricane Irene.

Think about what type of government you want to have, the next time a hurricane hits.

 

Photo by Rob Goodspeed

 

 

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