Monday, September 19, 2005

Before Returning To Omphaloskepsis

These quotes were found in the 9/19/05 edition of the Federalist Patriot Newsletter.

"I think the question of what went wrong is a very simple one. It actually [was]a failed local and state government. And when you're in that situation, there's a limit to what the national government can do... DeTocqueville understood this in 1840, when he published Democracy in America. He said a nation can establish a free government, but without municipal institutions, it cannot have the spirit of liberty. And that's the point. That's what we saw on September 11th, that it was in the Mayor and the police and the fire departments, and the other municipal institutions in New York, that you saw the spirit of liberty,
and you measured the health of that society. And that's what has failed with
this guy who's the mayor of New Orleans, and with this governor of Louisiana,
and this hysterical meltdown by Senator Landrieu of Louisiana." —Mark Steyn

"A republican form of government presupposes self-government—the capacity of citizens to govern themselves according to reason—and does not, if it intends to survive, champion them as 'victims' when they don't. But the shocking lack of self-government demonstrated by New Orleanians is the one area of government that our republic's vapid media won't scrutinize in their post-mortems on the city's collapse. Reporters keep shaking their fists at 'the government,' as if America were not a republic but a statist autocracy in which remote rulers can snap their fingers and make problems vanish for their subjects. Reporters alsokeep saying that the government's response last week was 'embarrassing.' What Ifind more embarrassing is the media's infantilizing of New Orleans citizens whochose not to evacuate despite loud and obvious warnings. Does personalresponsibility mean nothing at this point? Aren't citizens 'the government'too?... What's disgraceful, and positively dangerous, in a republic that dependson self-reliance is a media that encourages a culture of victimization. Anhonest media in a republic not wobbling toward statism would—while acknowledging that some citizens couldn't evacuate for reasons beyond their control and showing compassion for those who could but foolishly didn't—stop infantilizing and romanticizingthese citizens as 'victims' of government indifference... Yet by their own standards of indulgence—if they can rationalize the decision making of citizens who are told to evacuate but don't, why aren't they similarly tolerant of inadequate planning by FEMA?—their ferocious appetite for blame appears utterly capricious. But worse than that, it is destructive to the life of a republic, rendering individuals passive and derelict at the very moment its survival requires more not less self-government." —George Neumayr

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