Friday, September 02, 2005


I have spent the last three days watching TV, listening to the radio and scouring the internet for everything (and I mean EVERYTHING) related to the disaster in New Orleans and along the Gulf Coast. Not only have I been caring for the fate of those left behind, but I think that amid the death and devastation a turning point has been reached, a time has come for a referendum on America. We need to decide who and what we are now that we are all grown up.

Race, poverty, the role of cities, the war on terror, the role of government, the gap between rich and poor, the world's views on America. All of these issues and topics are being discussed and dissected, especially on the internet.

Once the waters recede, the bodies are counted and the city hopefully starts to come back to life, the discussions on these issues will intensify.

All of the questions that have been dogging this country for 5 years are going to be addressed in a new light. Serious questions about how and where the Bush regime has spent our money, the stark differences in the average lives of blacks and whites, what real "homeland security" means, the place of arms, the nature of Global Warming.

There is a chance here for this disaster to act as a positive turning point for our country. All of these issues can be discussed honestly, pored over in Congress, at colleges, in the diners and living rooms with a view to changes being made for the better. Perhaps a large segment of our populace will come to the realization that we have been failed and need to make changes at the top.

Or, the opposite can happen; further polarization, entrenchments if old views and distrust, increased hatred, a lack of honest discourse, and issues left to fester. If the it is the latter rather than the former that becomes our course, I think history will look at the confluence of the Bush presidency, the war in Iraq and the storm as the point in time when the Empire met its fate.