Like most Americans, for several weeks I have watched the tragic storms and flooding that have ravaged thousands of square miles of the heartland of our country. The toll taken on homes, families, farmland and cattle is almost incomprehensible. It will surely take months, if not years, for the people of our Midwest to return their lives to normal. But one thing has stood out that has gone virtually unmentioned—namely, I have seen not one complaint that the federal government has not bailed them out (no pun intended).
The sturdy, independent souls who inhabit that part of our country are noteworthy in their reluctance to call for Big Uncle to pour billions into their region and rebuild what they, themselves, are determined to rebuild. Unlike the inhabitants of New Orleans and several Gulf states who were similarly devastated by Katrina and who immediately blamed the federal government for all their woes, the hardy citizens of the Midwest look inward unto their own resources and resolve to recover and rebuild their own lives.
It seems that some people, once they feed at the government trough, won’t leave it—and those who avoid the government’s largesse do so no matter how difficult the challenge. And lest someone claim that it was governmentally built levees that created the New Orleans tragedy, those in the Midwest were also victims of levees that failed. Still, no voices in the Heartland cried out to complain and demand aid. Thank God the sturdy, independent “pioneer spirit” is still alive and well in Middle America.
— Walter M. Plaue