a failure of moral and political philosophy

Posted on Wednesday, September 7th, 2005 at 10:06 am by Chelsea Green Publishing

George Lakoff’s post on AlterNet this morning called the disaster in New Orleans a “failure of moral and political philosophy,” explaining more gently what Paul Craig Roberts on Counterpunch called failure on every front. Lakoff’s first analysis of the destruction from Katrina outlines how the strict father principles behind the Bush Administration allow them to “rely on individual discipline and initiative,” even in times of dire crisis, and calls on Democrats to start reframing the disaster immediately.

The values demonstrated by the Bush Administration during this crisis are not American values, and Lakoff goes so far as to call them invalid:

Hurricane Katrina should also form the context in which to judge whether John Roberts is fit to be chief justice of the United States Supreme Court. The reason is simple: The Katrina Tragedy raises the most central issues of moral and political principles that will govern the future of this country. Katrina stands to be even more traumatic to America than 9/11. The failure of conservative principles in the Katrina Tragedy should, in the post-Katrina era, invalidate those principles — and it should invalidate the right of George Bush to foist them on the country for the next 30 years.

Interestingly, Roberts and the Bush Administration have already done a fair amount of foisting, in what Nat Parry called the Apex of Presidential Power. It’s too bad that this administration doesn’t recognize any link between power and responsibility.

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