Conservative to the Core

A tale of two responders

By Tom Seymour | Sep 22, 2017

Hurricanes Harvey and Irma have brought about the best in human nature and the worst in human nature. Private citizens have stepped into the breach and are helping their families, friends and neighbors in their time of need.

The bad

Other people are taking a different approach. These folks see the evacuations as a prime opportunity to loot, rob and steal. In addition, some companies began raising prices on staple items that they knew people would need when the storms hit.

Exorbitant prices on bottled water are an example of businesses taking advantage of people in their extremities. Gouging people in their time of need stands as one of the more glaring examples of human depravity.

Capitalism is the greatest economic system ever yet devised. But there are honest capitalists and dishonest capitalists. Those business owners, guttersnipes who tripled the price of water, gasoline and other staples, are no better than criminals. In fact, they are criminals. And it appears as though at least some of the worst offenders will face charges. Good.

While Texas, Florida and other Deep South states were hit hard, it was even worse for those in the Virgin Islands. Listening to a man from St. Thomas, a United States territory, I was sickened by what he said.

Gangs of thugs, armed with machetes, were prowling the streets, demanding that people fork over their belongings or else. These people, too, have descended to the status of human refuse.

The guy on the radio said that he was carrying a powerful handgun and he also had to teach his young son how to protect himself with a firearm, in case he, the father, should be rendered incapable of providing protection himself. This is heart-rending stuff and it is happening right now.

And then we have the looters. With Florida cities underwater, low-life scum took to wanton looting. A home video caught a group of looters taking shoes away from a high-end shoe store.

Even worse, the video shows that the looters are not poverty-stricken at all, if the year and quality of their automobiles are any indication.

I heard one wag suggest putting up a sign on storefronts that would read, “Steal one, get one free.” Black humor, but very much to the point.

The good

Individual acts of heroism are legion. More people have gone out of their way to do good as opposed to those who only seek to enrich themselves at others’ expense.

Christian groups, too, Samaritan’s Purse, for instance, have been on the scene from the beginning. In fact the various Christian agencies have in many cases been a main source of help in the early hours after the storms.

But that shouldn’t come as a surprise. That’s what these groups are about, after all.

The federal government, too, is doing its level best to alleviate the suffering. President Trump has done everything in his power to see that government help gets to where it is needed, and as fast as possible.

I cannot recall any past president being more actively involved in the rescue and rebuilding effort than President Trump. And he isn’t doing this to score points, either. He is doing it because he loves and cares for the American people. Our president is a model of what a president should do and how a president should act in time of crisis.

Oddly enough, I don’t see any left-leaning groups down South helping people. Perhaps I missed it, but I don’t think so.

Where, for example, are all the women who marched in opposition to the president on Inauguration Day? Such community-minded people, one would think, would be among the first to render assistance to stricken communities.

And where are the Black Lives Matter troops? Surely lots of black people are in distress because of the storms. Black Lives Matter could and should be in the mix of things, helping the afflicted. After all, few of their members appear to have jobs and thus have lots of free time. But no, not a word from that organization. Well, not quite. Last week BLM radicals defaced a memorial to Thomas Jefferson.

Antifa, the group that hates everyone except for left-wing radicals, has an opportunity here. They could organize for good, not bad. They could go to the South and physically help out. Most of the Antifa radicals are young and strong and they could easily tend to the needy, the stricken, the weak and the displaced. Antifa members, too, don’t seem to be gainfully employed, at least the majority of them. They have time to help.

It is always thus when tragedy strikes. The good and bad elements of human nature are energized and the contrast between the two is startling.

May we survive our own wicked tendencies and may the better angles of our natures prevail.

Tom Seymour is a freelance magazine and newspaper writer, book author, naturalist and forager. He lives in Waldo.


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