Look at the Op-Ed columns in print and online. Listen to the noise coming from talk-radio. Watch intently the garbage beamed into your television sets. Take all of the above in, then ask yourself, what are the important and newsworthy issues with regards to The Big Spill? Oh some journalists have asked B.P. engineers and others what happened, and other journalists have dug deep enough to find out which politicians have taken money from B.P. (all of them, apparently). We have heard from Haley Barbour that the spill is nothing and we need to drill more. We have heard from Sarah Palin that the spill is something, we need tougher regulations, and we need to drill more.
Opinions on the Spill’s meaning run the gamut on the left as well, from recriminations about the President’s response (he isn’t angry enough), to complaints that the President didn’t “fix” the regulatory agency when he took office, to demands that all drilling cease immediately. The opinion-makers, whoever they are, have turned themselves inside out trying to make political hay out of on of the truly devastating industrial disasters in the history of man. In a nation where backwards thinking has become modern art, The Big Spill has inspired a museum full of impressionist garbage. It is past time to say enough!
We the people sit in a difficult place and time. Largely unable to come together in productive discussions on issues that define our nation, we have taken to fighting over the carcass of government; like two starving Lions ripping at the flesh of an animal from opposite sides. Republicans blindly fighting regulations and Democrats blindly trusting what are only words on the page have in fact worked together. They have conspired, in the manner of two drunks leaning on each other to walk down the street, to destroy large sections of the American Dream.
There is culpability, there is recrimination; then there are the millions without jobs because of our lack of national planning regarding finance. Further millions will lose their livelihood as oil encircles, encroaches on, and encrusts the fisheries and beaches of the Gulf Coast and beyond. What other tragedies must befall our country before we agree on a few simple truths? There are roles for markets and the democratically elected government, that each cannot well accomplish in lieu of the other. We have an implicit understanding, in business and education, in medicine and law enforcement, that humans need oversight. Redundancies are good and double-checking is better. Forever known as “The Crash” and “The Spill”, the events of 2008 and 2010 should be a wake up call to our nation every bit as loud as the one we heard on 9/11.