Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Reagan the Lifeguard

I drew this a few years ago. You hear Republicans talking about individualism and the evils of government, but they seldom mention all the government props and support they get in the business community, the roads they use, the educated workforce they couldn't do without, the legal protections of their patents and trade agreements. The quote they like to trot out is this one from Reagan, about the scariest words in the world being "I'm from the government and I'm here to help." I don't suppose many people mind the government rescuing them from hurricanes or floods or fire. Do you think of firemen as socialists? I don't. But they're not profiteers either, and I'm glad of that. They don't ask for payment before they help you. Reagan himself was a government employee when he worked as a lifeguard. He didn't look at every near-drowning as a business opportunity. Helping can be a job, but it's also a citizen's duty, a neighbor's duty, and an obligation we all share in common through our democratic institutions. One of the presidential candidates wants to cut FEMA emergency preparedness by half. Can you guess which one?

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