Dan Popp
The compassion monster
By Dan Popp
August 22, 2016

May God bless and keep the Tsar...far away from us! – Rabbi, "Fiddler on the Roof"

There are a lot of conservatives carping at President Obama because he's been playing golf instead of visiting flood-stricken Louisiana. They think he should...something. Show up, I guess. You know, to show his "compassion." Because he's such an empathetic narcissist.

Oh, I understand that when you're down, it feels good to get a visit from someone important, whether that's a sports star or a movie star or a power star. It makes you feel like the rest of the country hasn't forgotten you, and maybe things will be all right.

But besides the symbolism, what would an Obama visit accomplish? Would he fill sandbags? Hardly. Would he make sandwiches? Let's hope not. Would he make a speech, surrounded on a makeshift stage by victims, promising that America (meaning taxpayers) would come to their rescue and make them whole again?


The federal government has no role in providing relief or aid or insurance. We've gotten used to it doing that, so now we expect it, but it's still wrong. Government has no business rebuilding private homes. And it certainly cannot feel compassion. These are truths that all conservatives should know, should feel, down to the core of our being. The pictures are gut-wrenching, but emotion is a very bad basis for law. It's the opposite of law, really. Government stepping in – unconstitutionally – to heal wounds after a disaster only prolongs the calamity, as it has time and time again.

Should the National Guard or other official entities rescue people and save lives? Of course – that's the legitimate function of government: to protect people and property. Should law enforcement stave off looters? Absolutely. And here's another thing government should do: it should ensure the free flow of goods at market prices. That's the opposite of what it usually does in these situations. The Governor or the Mayor will hold a press conference and declare that "price gougers" will be dealt with severely! (That's "compassion" holding a gun, you see.)

But when scarcity drives prices up, the high profits motivate other suppliers to move goods to the afflicted area quickly, and things soon return to normal. Government "compassion," combined with fundamental ignorance of economics, often prolongs the shortages and the suffering.

Government is a justice institution, not a mercy institution. It doesn't know how to help you, even if it could. Its role in disasters is to clear the roads for the Red Cross and other actual charities, so they can get through and actually help people.

Now I read that Obama has decided to visit Louisiana next week. Nice going, conservatives. You got what you wanted. He'll be posing for pics with newly-minted mascots of the all-benevolent socialist state. See? Government love. We'll gag to another speech from this Alinskyite about "our values." You couldn't just let him play a little harmless golf.

Americans can help and pray for our fellow Americans without Barack Obama's interference, and without more unlawful vote-buying with our great-grandchildren's money. Louisianans have suffered enough without being mauled by the clumsy paws of the Compassion Monster.

© Dan Popp


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