Japanese Tusnami a Sobering Shock

By YeOldeScribe ~ March 11th, 2011 @ 11:17 pm

For the last few weeks, we’ve been posting pretty exclusively about politics in Wisconsin, and some people may have gotten the wrong idea about our blog. While our entire staff currently resides in Wisconsin, we’re not a WI blog. PoliticalProgressives.com was created to showcase political happenings across the US and comment on/critique them with a progressive framework. It just so happened that as the blog was being created, the Budget Reform Bill debate sprung up, and that discussion took up the vast majority of our time, as evidenced by the somewhat excessive amounts of posts we made on the subject.

And it’s not like there wasn’t anything else going on in the world, or even in the US. The Libya situation is downright scary and dangerous with no immediate or peaceful end in sight. The Federal Budget situation isn’t resolved, as both sides are gearing up for a pretty big fight. And for those of you interested in sports, the NFL labor talks went about as well as the Budget Repair Bill did in WI. But sometimes, the world has a strange way of reminding us how small we are, and how small our problems are too.

Overnight, an earthquake – the fifth-largest ever recorded – not only rocked the island of Japan, but stirred the waters of the Pacific Ocean, unleashing a tidal wave of destruction known as a tsunami on the country. The earthquake – an 8.9 on a scale of 10 – was dangerous and deadly enough on it’s own, but the resulting tsunami is what really did the damage. Bodies of the dead were washing up along coastal regions of the country. Nuclear power plants began to fail. Entire cities were wiped off the map as waves lifted and flattened villages. It’s unknown how many lost their lives, but the end result will be in the thousands, for sure.

We’re not going to link to any of the videos or stories that followed. If you want to watch the film and go “Oh how cool”, that’s fine, but you won’t do it from our site. No matter how “cool” the shaking cameras looked from our safe homes in the Midwest, no matter how “awesome” the whirlpool seemed on television, the natural disasters striking the nation of Japan are nothing more than hell on earth for citizens of the island nation; a one-two punch from the devil himself. Some have lost their lives. More have lost family members. Still more have lost homes and businesses. There’s nothing cool or awesome about that.

Sometimes, perspective is important in life. Don’t get us wrong, we still feel like the Budget Repair Debacle is hugely important not only to the citizens of Wisconsin, but to the entire United States. However, the bill will not snuff out hundreds of lives in one night. It won’t cause billions of dollars in damage to its constituents. The budget repair bill may be devastating, but it’s nothing compared to what the people of Japan are going through.

Yes, perspective is important, and remembering that suffering is universal is essential, too. President Obama has already pledged US support to Japan, but we, as a country, need to make sure he’s not the only American making that pledge. PoliticalProgressives.com encourages you to donate to relief efforts and humanitarian efforts such as the Red Cross. If you don’t have money to give, consider donating a few hours worth of time to their cause. Let’s show the world – just as we did after earthquakes in Haiti and Indonesia – the better side of American politics – the side that rarely sees the light of day. The side that says “You need help, and we’re here for you.” The side that does unto others as we would want others to do to us. The side that says today, we are all Japanese, unified through suffering, bound by a promise to rectify the damages and move our planet forward.

That, my friends, is progressive thinking.

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