“Be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ.” -Ephesians 5:21, New Revised Standard Edition
“In this day in age of 24 hour cable crap devoted to feeding the voyeuristic gluttony of an American public hooked on bad soap opera that passing itself off as important, don’t you think we could find some relevance in verse 21″ – President Josiah Bartlet on “The West Wing”
In this time of natural disaster when communities across the country are ravaged by tornado and flood, wouldn’t it help if we were concerned more with others than ourselves. Tornadoes ripped through the South recently killing hundreds. Just two days ago a huge tornado leveled much of Joplin, MO. In between those two events the Mississippi River overflowed causing damage to hundreds of thousands of acres of farmland. People all over this country have lost their livelihoods. Families have been destroyed. Communities of been splintered. Now, I am not the pinnacle of a devout Christian, but if ever there was a time for us to be subject to others, it is now.
That is why I firmly believe House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) should be run out of Washington. To be fair, I’ve never liked Mr. Cantor. I stand opposed to nearly everything he believes. That would be fine. Disagreements are good. A healthy debate is necessary in this country. Unfortunately, Mr. Cantor is not concerned with what is best for the people of this country. He seems more concerned with winning. Politico reported on Monday that Mr. Cantor said, “if there is support for a supplemental, it would be accompanied by support for having pay-fors to that supplemental.”
In other words if were going to help people whose lives have been destroyed, we have to cut spending in an equal amount. In February, Mr. Cantor voted no to an amendment that eliminated funding to build an extra engine for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. The Defense Department didn’t want the engine, but Mr. Cantor thought the program was a good way to spend 435 million dollars a year. That money could buy a lot of bottled water for people in Joplin, Tuscaloosa and Vicksburg.
I can’t express how angry I am that Republicans are trying to tie everything that happens in this world to spending cuts. It would be one thing if they wanted to balance the budget, but they don’t. They want to reduce the size of the federal government so that they can slash taxes for the rich.
This is about helping people who have lost everything. In this country when our fellow citizens are lying at rock-bottom we reach out and lift them up. We find the money. It doesn’t matter if we have to borrow it from China or raise taxes on everything from business to income or property. We look after our own.
Mr. Cantor should apologize to every American who has lost a family member, or friend in these disasters. It is offensive to suggest that we should be talking about how to make disaster relief deficit neutral less than twenty-four hours after the second deadliest tornado since 1950 is confirmed to have killed 125 people. 700 residents of Joplin are still missing. The death toll is likely to rise significantly, and Mr. Cantor wants to talk about spending cuts.
America is only a great nation if it takes care of its citizens at their greatest time of need. That means when disaster strikes FEMA sweeps in and does all it can do to help. It means we do whatever we need to do, and pay for it however we can. We don’t haggle over deficits, and spending cuts. We do the job of helping people rebuild their lives. That is the most important thing the government can do. Mr. Cantor could learn something about being subject to others. In 2012, I hope he remembers that he is certainly subject to the voters of Virginia’s 7th district. I hope they hold him accountable.