"Do you believe that the Republicans even control the weather now?"
Those were the words of Mark Mothersbaugh, commenting on the heavy rain on the Devo show in Central Park, 23 July 2004
It's easy to lay blame for New Orleans on George W. Bush without any tinfoil hats: he singlehandedly crippled FEMA and made sure that the levees would not get needed maintenance, then shipped off all the national guardsmen that might normally help out with disaster relief off to perform mass human sacrifices that would make Montezuma blush. That streets would run with blood in his own country was simply an added bonus.
Republicans are killing us all... but it's just a theory
But lets put the tinfoil hat on for a moment, and remember that George W. is merely the latest figurehead propped up by the mass of the Republican Party: the party that has invested every fibre of its being into purging truth from our nation. When scientists warned us about global climactic changes, the GOP was right there to remind us that, like evolution, this was "only a theory." Just as they've done with cigarettes and toxic sludge (hey, there's no PROOF that it's not good for you) the American Right has at every turn done their level best to make sure that you don't know up from down. After all, you should be reading your Bible, not listening to egghead scientists or other elitist "experts" who do silly things like gather empirical data.
So thirty and even forty years ago, scientists were telling us that in another few decades that we were looking at major climactic shifts, that weather patterns would be changing and that we might see a lot more severe weather and flooding. Who was it that assured us that there was no problem and never would be? Who was it that told us that anyone listening to reports based on scientific data may as well be communist infiltrators? Who was it that broadly assassinated the character of anyone who might be even vaguely associated with pure research? The Grand Olde Party, that's who.
We were told not to have a Chicken Little reaction, that there was no real proof, that it was all just theory and, we were supposed to assume, speculation. After all, who do the scientists and researchers think they are, anyway, to tell us common folks how things are?
So why should we get mad about the horrible job the Bush administration has done with the cleanup and rescue efforts in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina? We've known this was coming as long as I've been alive, but somehow we all listened to the Republicans telling us that it wasn't happening, to go back to our beds and watch TV. We all should have expected this. Why be surprised that the Republicans don't care? They've been telling us not to care for decades. And we've been listening, as a society. Even if we haven't believed them, we've allowed their cries of "it's just a theory" to prevent us from taking action, the same way "it's just a theory" keeps scientific fact out of our schools and the same way that "it's just a theory" keeps the tobacco industry from taking any responsibility for stringing along more junkies than any schoolyard pusher or Columbian druglord could ever dream of.
When will we stop giving a pass to the superstitious nonsense that oozes from the mouthpieces of the Republican party?