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Pulling together in the face of a natural disaster

November 6, 2012
Messenger News

Indeed, comments by President Barack Obama and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie last week were unusual in the context of an election campaign in which the two men are opponents.

But commentators surprised at the two men's statements about each other or attempting to make political analysis points about them show only that they don't understand the American people.

"He has sprung into action immediately," said Christie when Obama visited areas of New Jersey ravaged by Hurricane Sandy.

"He has put his heart and soul into making sure the people of New Jersey bounce back stronger than before," said Obama of the governor.

Yes, Obama is the leader of the Democratic Party. Christie is a leading Republican. Politically, they probably can't stand each other.

But this isn't politics. This is a massive disaster, when party labels don't really count.

When tragedy strikes, the American people pull together and do all we can for our beleaguered neighbors. We expect our public officials to do the same - working together.

Do disasters like hurricanes sometimes provoke bitter disputes among public officials? Certainly. In a few cases, partisan politics is at work. In the vast majority, it's merely honest differences of opinion about how to help.

It was no surprise, then, to see Obama and Christie working together. That's just how we Americans do things. We may fight like cats and dogs at election time - but not when our fellow Americans are in need of help.



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