By Sahid Fawaz
The events of the past few days have presented a dramatic, real life example of two worlds coexisting in America.
The first is the real world, which is located in, among other places, Louisiana.
In Louisiana there is a state of emergency underway as Hurricane Isaac passes through. In response, police, firefighters, and other unionized personnel are working tirelessly to help millions of residents get back on their feet.
Without government help – from emergency services to the levees that protect communities – the situation would be catastrophic.
The second world is the fantasy world and is located 650 miles east of Louisiana at the Republican National Convention in Tampa.
complete denial of the needs of modern society.
Republicans blast government services and unions and instead champion CEOs and the privileged 1%.
They ignore the real needs of the less fortunate who rely on government help, such as Americans who suffer from a natural disaster. But Republicans will fight for the more fortunate, i.e., the rich, and try to con the rest of us into giving them bigger tax breaks.
And, of course, the delegates to the RNC are ignoring the courageous work that the government and its unionized workers are providing in Louisiana. When Hurricane Isaac’s heavy rain and strong winds hit the state, it was the government workers who were the first on the scene – the same government workers whose existence the Republican are so staunchly against. It is these workers who are braving the elements each day to ensure that the residents of Louisiana are safe and receive the help that they need.
In the Republican fantasy land, these essential government services would be slashed and unions would be outlawed. That fantasy would quickly become a nightmare for the rest of us. A century of progress would be wiped out, sending us back to the days when natural disasters destroyed peoples’ lives because of a lack of government help.
Events like Hurricane Isaac remind us that we are all part of a larger community. In tough times, we all need a helping hand. We need those levees. We need the emergency rescue personnel. And we need the millions of unionized government workers who provide the essential services that keep America strong and secure on a daily basis.