In the aftermath of a natural disaster, there’s often an outpouring of support and unity. People band together to help rebuild and support one another. But, as we see in the news every day, this isn’t always the case. Political disagreements can get in the way of helping those who need it most after a natural disaster.
Even before Hurricane Ian made landfall, political divisions around its impact on various locations and individuals had begun to emerge. While some people questioned whether it was safe for President Biden to visit hurricane-stricken areas, others would do well to praise his willingness to put political differences aside in efforts to help the people of DeSantis’s Florida.
Long before Hurricane Ian, the feud between Governor DeSantis and President Biden had become a national talking point. Here’s what you should know about the President’s visit to hurricane-stricken Florida and the importance of putting political differences aside in the name of the common good.
President Biden Put Political Differences to the Side in Coming to Florida’s Aid
President Biden made a point of surveying the extensive damage left over from Hurricane Ian. He led the effort along with Governor DeSantis, a man with whom the President has many differences.
As the two statesmen lent a hand to comfort local residents after the devastation of the storm, those moments came to represent something. They represent the power of bipartisanship.
If the President of the United States of America can put political differences and animosity aside for the greater good, we should all endeavor to exercise such grace. This country has been torn apart by division for too long. Disasters like Hurricane Irma serve as a reminder that whether we like it or not, we are all in this together.
To be fair, both President Biden and Governor DeSantis agreed to put their differences aside. While many people are aware of President Biden’s willingness to reach across the aisle, it was somewhat surprising to some to see Governor DeSantis humbled enough to put his political differences aside during the President’s visit.
With so much destruction, the fact that these two adversaries were able to conduct themselves with mutual respect says a lot. It shows us that America is more resilient than most would have us believe in this hour of our history.
Why Political Divisions Are Bad After a Natural Disaster
Natural disasters leave behind a trail of destruction and upheaval. For survivors, it can be a trying experience. People are often under extreme pressure and stress to rebuild their lives. They might not be able to work and be financially secure. They might not be able to get their children to school.
They might not have access to medical care. All of these concerns can lead to increased feelings of fear and vulnerability for people who are already dealing with circumstances that feel out of their control. In these moments, political divisions can make things worse.
Feelings of being unheard by a political leader, or feeling like your experience and needs are being ignored, can make people feel even more vulnerable and afraid. When political divisions make it more difficult for people to receive the support they need, they can contribute to a more vulnerable and uncertain recovery.
Rebuilding in the Wake of Disaster Is Never Easy
When disaster hits, people rely on help from neighbors, friends, and the wider community. After a natural disaster, support and assistance pour in from all over the country. This is when people often come together and experience an outpouring of goodwill. People try their best to help those who were affected. Unfortunately, these feelings don’t last long.
They are often supplanted by the political divisions that were there from the very beginning. Political differences often put a damper on the willingness to help. People may feel like they can’t contribute because they don’t trust the government or don’t want to be associated with a certain party.
They may feel like their time and energy are better spent elsewhere rather than helping people who don’t share their politics. They may withdraw their assistance because they disagree with how their money is being used.
Political Arguments Can Delay Rebuilding Efforts
When natural disasters happen, they bring people together. Communities come together to support and help one another. Although political divisions exist, they are typically put on the back burner during this time. However, after the disaster is over, people start to argue again.
Political arguments can get in the way of helping people. Efforts to rebuild often require a significant amount of funding. It is critical that people come together to raise the funds needed for rebuilding. When people argue over where funding should come from or how the funds should be distributed, it can delay needed rebuilding efforts.
Rebuilding Florida Together
Hurricane Ian wreaked havoc on Florida. Much of the state was affected by the storm in some way. Many people suffered damage to their homes and businesses as a result. Florida officials reported that more than over one million people experienced power outages during and after the storm.
This meant that many Floridians had to rely on generators for electricity. Fuel shortages, in addition to the damage to roads and bridges, made getting the supplies that people needed difficult.
The storm also had a devastating impact on Florida’s agricultural industry as a number of citrus producers have reported losing 80% of their crops after the hurricane. The storm was one of the costliest hurricanes in U.S. history.
Moral of the Story
Natural disasters can bring people together and show us what is truly important. However, political divisions get in the way of this. It is important to put differences aside and focus on helping one another.
This is particularly true after a natural disaster. In the aftermath of a natural disaster, people are often desperate for help. They may not have the resources or ability to take care of themselves. In these moments, it is critical to put aside political differences and work together to help those who need it most.