The storm that kicked Iowa, Indiana and other parts of the Midwest in the gut last week was a crushing blow to millions who lost power, lost property and lost a year’s worth of hard work in the fields.
Midwesterners have dealt with adversity since the the country was homesteaded. It’s part of the heritage, part of how the people there have earned their stripes as tough, realistic, hard working and plain spoken.
Toughness aside, Midwesterners are also charitable and generous when disaster strikes. They pull together and help one another survive.
In the best of times, our government….the WE THE PEOPLE part of our founding language…the part we pay taxes to…has stepped in to help communities establish peace and health, even financial support in times of calamity. That isn’t a guarantee anymore, whether because the government hasn’t the funds or because government assistance is seen as a giveaway, welfare, maybe even socialism. We send troops to quell uprisings of people expressing their frustration about police killing of unarmed citizens. But we can’t find our way to send FEMA support to storm ravaged communities in the Midwest?
It doesn’t have to be this way…we fought together against foreign tyrants and against childhood disease. We contributed money, sweat and tears to get our public infrastructure in place…the dams, the highways, the airports, the schools and our armed forces that made America strong.
We’re bigger than our differences. That’s been proved time and time again, in small rural landscapes and in large cities. We unite because we need one another; we unite because it makes us stronger against those who would dare to ruin this experiment in democracy.