By now, you’ve probably seen the social media post from the (since resigned) mayor of a town in Texas. As Texas is suffering through a deadly cold snap and power outages, he took to Facebook to rage against people who expected their government and public utility providers to help them. Among other things, this “good Christian” huffed that:

“No one owes you or your family anything; nor is it the local governments [sic] responsibility to support you during trying times like this! Sink or swim, it’s your choice! The City and County, along with power providers or any other service owes [sic] you NOTHING!”

“If you have no water you deal with out [sic] and think outside of the box to survive and supply water to your family. If you were sitting at home in the cold because you have no power and are sitting there waiting for someone to come rescue you because your [sic] lazy is [sic] direct result of your raising!”

“Am I sorry that you have been dealing without electricity and water; yes! But I’ll be damned if I’m going to provide for anyone that is capable of doing it themselves! Bottom line, quit crying and looking for a handout! Get off your ass and take care of your own family!”

Here’s what I find most interesting about this. We do have a system for “dealing with” the fact that natural disasters can harm people and that, for example, crucial services such as electricity need to be regulated so that they do things such as winterize their plants even though that might cut into profits. That system is called “government.” The notion that our government doesn’t owe us anything is insane. Why do we even have government if that’s true? Also, electric companies get a lot of special treatment from society. They can condemn land for power lines, just for starters. In return, it’s reasonable to expect them to do what’s necessary to provide power.

We have GOT to get rid of this notion that government neither can nor should do things for citizens.

4 responses to “Madness

  1. “Promote the general welfare.” What a concept.

  2. Time to employ some Lakoff, I suspect.

  3. I’d be interested to know how the Mayor saw his own role and function – what is the purpose of government, at any level, if not to support the community?

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