If the oil spill was here

June 22, 2010
By

New Englanders, and especially Bostonians, tend to believe that our way of life, our traditions, our geography, our coastline and natural beauty and the changing of the seasons combine to make living one’s life in this area better and more preferable to anywhere else in the nation.

New Englanders watching the tragedy unfolding down south along the Louisiana coast line as a result of the oil spill feel for those people. But we don’t feel for them the way we would feel for ourselves.

Their pain is not our pain.

Their problem, however, could be our problem – and what would we be doing about it? And would Washington’s response have been the same?

The president lost a golden moment to act boldly to deal with the oil filth collecting in marshlands, swamps and beaches from Louisiana to Florida.

With a stroke of his pen he could have announced an FDR (Franklin D. Roosevelt) style New Deal type program putting 100,000 unemployed Americans to work in that region in the most massive and thorough clean-up in world history.

Not only would such a massive hiring have acted as an economic boost, but the clean-up potential of 100,000 as opposed to the 17,000 running about trying to pick up globs of oil from beaches cannot be compared.

In addition, the president could have ordered reclamation projects and de-oiling efforts on a scale never before seen or used by any government in the world during a moment of crisis.

Make no mistake, this is a moment of crisis.

If the spill were happening here, residents would not be crying out that their livelihoods are being lost or that the beaches are being despoiled.

They would be rioting.

They would be sacking and burning down government offices.

They would be calling for retribution.

They would be acting out in such a way that Washington would be forced to pay proper attention to the calamity.

Instead, leadership has again taken a back seat to political correctness.

Our very capable president is incapable of showing emotion in public, and one is led to wonder if he has any.

Even former president George Bush was often moved to tears and anger by the plight of those whose lives had been disturbed by poverty, ignorance and suffering.

I’ll still take Obama over Bush and Cheney.

President Obama has missed a great opportunity to employ those without jobs in the great effort to save the United State’s Southern shoreline.

After all, he could put all those unemployed people to work and sent the bill to British Petroleum.