This is a Manhattan Project moment, as was 9/11. And we’re squandering it the same way we did then.
Had George Bush surrounded himself with advisers of broad vision and foresight, he could have molded the world into an interdependent, terror-proof network. He could have laid the foundation for a crash program leading to energy independence for America. Instead, he started a couple of wars.
Now a nation that is just beginning to grasp the true scope of the unfolding tragedy in the Gulf cries out for leadership, as it did in 2001.
Rather than provide it, the Obama Administration has gone into bunker mode, uttering empty platitudes and hollow ultimatums in an attempt to divert blame and responsibility in an election year.
We are awakening to the reality that our government is powerless to deal with the mess. A victim of its own lack of political will in not requiring that adequate safety provisions be put in place before drilling even began, it now reaps the whirlwind of its corrupt impotence.
We as a nation are forced to entrust the rescue and restoration of our environment to the very same soulless private sector whose cutting of corners resulted in its rape.
We are angry at the oil industry, the way a debtor is angry at his loan shark. We know that the oil companies are exacting what amounts to a national indemnity by providing us what we cannot do without. We are in their thrall, and we look to our leaders to extricate us.
But we don’t elect leaders anymore; we elect people who tell us what we want to hear. They reflect us, with all our weaknesses and addictions. If we can’t do anything ourselves to stop the madness, why should we expect them to?