copyright © 2008 Betsy L. Angert
Presidential aspirant John McCain is in Florida this week. Five days into the hurricane season that typically haunts this South Eastern State, Senator McCain, grapples with his own disaster. The Arizona Senator, proud of his opposition to a proposed National Catastrophe Fund, needs dollars to restore order to his political house. Hence, the Arizona Senator has come to the Sunshine State to catch some rays, or more accurately to raise the necessary green.
The prominent prisoner of war, captive to a want for cash, seems oblivious to the correlation. Senator McCain has struggled to garner the gelt he needs to run an effective Presidential campaign. He has not had the most passionate support from his Party. Thus, he turns to constituents in Florida. After all, it was in this State the Senator won a victory that changed the tide of his campaign.
John McCain does not seem to realize a subtle analogy. Floridians sought relief from a nation that they are part of, and the people in this great country let them down. The Arizona Senator was among the most ardent opponents to a subsidy that might have helped support Floridians at the time. He continues to denounce the possibility that as a nation, we work as one; that is unless he is speaking of contributions for his cause.
Now, John McCain, a member of the Grand Old Party declares Republicans must come together. However, he experiences the political stalwarts in his camp are not there for him as he hoped they would be. Senator McCain may now feel the pain of abandonment Floridians find all too familiar.
Just as John McCain said, to the people in a territory overwhelmed by the damage hurricanes caused, “No! I will not deliver the dough,” his people now say, “No, I will not contribute the cash you require to rebuild.”
The Senator, desperate to survive and financially strapped seems oblivious to the similarity in this situation. Floridians hearts ache. Those in the Gulf State know to their core how it feels to be connected, and yet rejected. Perchance, John’s spirit is so scarred from what feels as a slight, he can no longer see the irony that is evident to those in the Everglades.
Denunciation is difficult. Irony is intricate.
Citizens in the Sunshine State understand this. They need only reflect on recent circumstances. After being victim to two devastating hurricanes, Katrina and Wilma in 2005, they were forced to ask for favors. The disdain expressed by those who live elsewhere was ample. The idea of a national Catastrophe Fund was easily dismissed by the masses. John McCain led the contemptuous cry.
People in the presumed “United” States, and John McCain, concluded that inhabitants of the Sunshine State took the burden of blight upon themselves. The general public and Senator John McCain stated, when the individuals in Florida elected to live in the tropical “paradise” they knew the danger.
Only three years ago, ‘constituents’ in cooler, calmer, less critical climates believed they were impervious to peril. Times have changed. In this year alone, millions throughout the country were struck by tornados, windstorms, and tempest of hail. Rains ravage the hillsides. Wild fires burn the forest. Neighborhoods are scorched. Droughts dry the land and leave many plants and people without water. Perchance, even John McCain, Senator from this arid state has or will suffer great distress if weather conditions continue to devastate Americans.
Floridians empathize. The people situated on a peninsula know how an environmental crisis can cause a financial calamity. In the Everglade State, individuals and families have been crippled by natural disasters that they cannot control. They felt the same fear John McCain now realizes. When resources are few, there is not much a solitary individual (or State) can do.
Residents in the Sunshine region have been in dire straits. They recall how it felt when few were willing to donate to their cause. Today, as Presidential candidate John McCain circulates through the Florida terrain, as he moves from sea to shore, people may inquire, will the Presidential aspirant consider what he did not less than thirty-six months ago. When circumstances punish people, or a person, the untouched may be reluctant to offer aid.
Sunshine State Sources . . .
- John McCain. Washington Post. June 5, 2008
- UPDATE: Nat cat fight: Obama hits McCain on opposition. Miami Herald. June 5, 2008
- Obama, McCain snipe over catastrophe fund, By Foon Rhee. Boston Globe. June 5, 2008 01:24 PM
- Severe weather, tornadoes kill dozens across South. Cable News Network. February 6, 2008
- Friday tornado pummels downtown; Saturday storm kills 2, By Tim Eberly and Paul Shea. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. March 14, 2008
- Hail Storms in Minnesota. WEAU Channel 13. May 31, 2008
- Wildfires Ravage Southern California. Day To Day. National Public Radio. October 23, 2007
- So much for Crist endorsing McCain? Miami Herald. January 21, 2008
- Florida Gov. Crist Endorses McCain. By Chris Cillizza. Washington Post. January 26, 2008
- Arizona drought: Trees, animals stressed. USA Today. June 7, 2007