Patrick Archbold is co-founder of Creative Minority Report, a Catholic website that puts a refreshing spin on the intersection of religion, culture, and politics. When not writing, Patrick is director of information technology at a large international logistics company in New York.
Since everyone who knows me for more than three minutes knows that I am a political junkie, I have been asked repeatedly "What effect do you think Sandy will have on the vote?"
What are the politics of disasters?
When someone at work asked me this question yesterday, I answered the question a little differently.
"You will go vote tomorrow", I said. "You have repeatedly heard me talk about liberty and how it hangs in the balance in this country and that how this election may have a profound effect on whether religious liberty, among other liberties, will still really exist in this country."
I saw the look on his face and his eyes roll, there goes Patrick again.
You don't think these liberties are all that important, fine. You don't think that limits on the government are important fine. But you asked me about the disaster which you acknowledge is a big deal. So let me put to you this way.
Over the last 2,000 year of recorded history, if you took all the deaths from every known natural disaster, and added them together. From the 2004 Tsunami and the quarter million who died there all the way to the Antioch earthquake in the year 526 AD, and every disaster in between and since. If you added all that death together it would be quite a massive sum, probably somewhere close to 10 million deaths.
Now think that in the 20th Century alone, more than 20 times that number have died at the hands of governments, frequently their own. It is estimated that from 1917 to its end in the late eighties, Soviet Communism killed 61,000,000 people. It is estimated that Nazi Germany killed over 20,000,000 people including 6 million Jews. China, another 35,000,000. Add to that the genocides of Japan, Pol Pot, Turkey and on and on.
Close to 200,000,000 people have died in the 20th Century alone because of the tyranny of government. And in many cases, the person most responsible for the killing was elected.
So don't tell me it can't happen here. Don't tell me that in the country that has killed 50,000,000 unborn babies, the country that forcibly interned thousands for the crime of being of Japanese ancestry, that the country that currently has a kill list of American citizens overseas, the country of killer drones, don't tell that in this country it cannot happen. It already has and does.
So liberty matters. When I vote, I vote to protect each and every liberty and to restrain government in any way I can because there are hundreds of millions of dead people who wished they could.