Monday night on MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show,” host Rachel Maddow discussed how natural disasters like Hurricane Sandy are the times when “government really matters.” In major emergencies, rescue and relief must be coordinated on a massive scale, she said, and it’s necessary to have infrastructure in place and smart leaders empowered to deploy it.
At the beginning of the clip, Maddow rolled clips of President Obama, New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg (R) and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (R) urging citizens to evacuate if ordered to do so, not just for their own good, but to prevent needless risks to lives and safety of first responders.
“There are times in our civilian lives when we are called on to do things for our country, for our fellow Americans, for someone other than ourselves,” Maddow said. “Where we have to do something that we may not want to do, it may be something that’s annoying, something that will certainly be inconvenient, but what is nevertheless the right thing to do. Take one for the team, accept responsibility not just for yourself, but as a member of a group of people who are mutually responsible to each other for something we all belong to.”
“You might want to stay where you are in the face of an evacuation order,” Maddow, said, paraphrasing the officials, “but if you do so, you will be harming your country, your city and state, your fellow Americans” by drawing resources and personnel from other places where they are needed just as urgently.
She then said that viewers around the country have been reporting that polls are swamped for early voting. Photos of the long lines that early voters are facing have come pouring in over the last two weeks.
“It’s aggravating that it’s still this hard to vote in this country,” she said, “particularly in the swing states, particularly in the densely populated areas, which, incidentally, tend to vote Democratic.”
In a way, though, she said, it’s sort of “inspiring” that it’s this hard, that, even as difficult as it is, people are willing to stand in line all day if necessary to do it.
When we call upon each other to vote, she said, we are calling upon each other’s sense of duty to our communities, and it’s in situations like Hurricane Sandy where we see the results of our voting. Sometimes voting it inconvenient and time-consuming, “but it’s something that your country needs you to do.”
She said, “In this storm, this year, we are being reminded of other kinds of civic responsibility that we are being called upon to exhibit in difficult times. Do what’s right not just for you alone, but do what’s right for all of us. We need to pull together.”
“It’s both totally apolitical, and it is the very core of why we bother with politics in the first place,” she concluded. “This is one of those times when government really matters.”
Watch the clip, embedded via MSNBC, below: