- - Thursday, August 31, 2017


America is a pretty bleak place, if you ask some of the soreheads in the magpie media and other places where naysayers dwell. They would tell you that equal justice under the law, fairness, and good neighborliness have disappeared from sight. Taking their place are racism, anti-Semitism, misogyny and other diseases that had for years lurked beneath the surface are now returning with a wink and a nod from the White House.

That’s bunk, but it’s bunk that fraudsters and shysters can sell. This bunk motivates the disenfranchised to turn out to vote at election time. If enough of the credulous and the naive buy the bunk, the “regressives” — who used to be called liberals and then progressives — can get back to work expanding the welfare state and enlarging the swamp.

Texas is the place to look for the proof that the bunk is a lie as big as Texas itself. The authorities are still counting the people who have lost their homes, their jobs and their lives, and there’s no useful speculation yet how many months will be required to make Texas whole. Hurricane Harvey may well be the greatest natural disaster in America in a hundred years. The water dropped from the skies on Houston has been measured in the trillions of gallons — that’s trillion, with a “t” — more than the water dropped on New Orleans by Hurricane Katrina, and on the Middle Atlantic states by Superstorm Sandy, combined. The financial losses from flooding may approach not just billions of dollars but tens of billions.

The bright spot that gives hope for the future is how neighbor has helped neighbor. First responders put themselves at considerable risk of death to rescue those trapped by water. Highways into Houston were soon jammed with volunteers with trucks of food, water, blankets and clothes collected by dozens of churches, synagogues, mosques and other organizations. The Federal Emergency Management Agency, better organized this time, put hundreds of search and rescue teams to work across southeastern Texas, and in the first days after the storm they saved 3,800 lives.

Residents of nearby towns and cities opened their homes, warehouses and businesses to provide shelter to the displaced, supplementing the more than 230 state, local, and community shelters. Money to help the needy arrived faster than it could be counted, and nobody noticed race, creed, or sex of those who were helped. Many of the hundreds of volunteers were Hillary’s deplorables or the racists and bigots we’re told are a curse upon the land in the Trump era.

The fringe groups of left and right that would use violence do not define America. They never have and they never will. “The better angels of our nature,” as Lincoln called them, define the exceptional nation, and always have. Those angels have been hard at work in Texas. There has been no miracle, just Americans, inspired to share God’s bountiful providence, being America. President Trump was right, it’s still too early for congratulations, and there’s still work to do. But it’s not too early to praise God, from Whom all blessings flow.

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