Sandy is such a sweet name. When I hear the name “Sandy” I think of two of my friends who share the name, with their calm and pleasant natures–such joys to be around. I also think of Little Orphan Annie’s mild-mannered companion, her dog Sandy. And of course, there is Olivia Newton-John’s famous “Grease” character, Sandy. The movie begins with “Sandy” as sweet, innocent and conservative but by the end she is a leather-clad, transformed “greaser” yet still nice at heart.
The eastern seaboard of America was introduced to a very different Sandy; she wasn’t meek and mild, she was loud and violent and she has changed the lives of many forever. Even those of us who didn’t endure her wrath have been impacted by her destruction on fellow Americans.
Sandy’s devastation should never become political, but it can be insightful.
Pollsters talk about how many of us have already decided whom we will vote for on November 6th, with the percentage of undecided voters now growing incredibly small. Campaigns, however, have a real knack for politicizing situations such as a “Superstorm” and being so close to this election, the temptation is worse than a kid in a candy store.
A tragedy such as this is an opportunity for candidates, who are truly seeking the best interest of our country and its citizens, to put others first, ahead their political ambitions. This is the time to carefully watch what the candidates do and say because the true character of everyone involved in this election can definitely be seen in the way they handle tragedy.
President Obama and Governor Romney both have a stellar opportunity to show Americans how they work and behave in a setting such as a natural disaster. This is a true gauge to their character and how they choose to approach the relief and rebuilding efforts of our eastern seaboard.
Mr. Romney definitely showed compassion and selflessness when, campaigning in Ohio, he shifted his planned rally and instead used the opportunity to create a relief effort for donating food and supplies for the people of New Jersey.
We should also observe the way Obama and Romney support state and local officials will also help us have a better understanding of each man’s management capabilities. Mr. Romney, having been a Governor, will have unique insight into understanding what the states will be going through as they recover and rebuild.
Another area we should watch are the campaign surrogates. Political Action Committees aside, we should look at those who are tied directly to the campaigns (especially those in high level positions) to see how–and if– they use this storm as political theater.
The wound of Hurricane Sandy has been inflicted so close to Election Day that each candidate’s behaviors are critical at this time.
Candidates should not criticize each other about how they should be responding to this tragedy, nor should they use the victims to gain photo opportunities or try to use it as a marker of their management skills; this should simply be a time of concern and empathy for those who are suffering.
Sandy has given our country a moment to step back and truly look at whom we are selecting as our President. This storm will give us a perspective of the abilities and character of those we are preparing to select, on God’s terms. No spin, no Teleprompters, just raw, real life emotions and reactions.
As my family listened in the car to the radio reports as the storm slammed into the coast, my son made the statement of, “Why is God doing this? He doesn’t need advertisement. He’s powerful and we know it.” My immediate response was, “Maybe others need to be reminded of His power.”
As we go through elections in today’s world, we become consumed with the people and sometimes forget the purpose. We abdicate our responsibility of learning about the candidates and just go with what the media tells us and we forget who is ultimately in control of this situation.
The purpose of elections is not necessarily to have our point of view heard and put forward, but rather it is to select leaders to preserve the Republic and to continue the gift of freedom God has placed in our hands–and to not lose sight of the dreams set in our hearts by our Creator.
As tragic as Sandy has been and will continue to be, we cannot lose sight of our American dream and use their sorrow for someone else’s political gain.
If you are still trying to decide for whom to entrust with your vote, take this moment to assess who uses this tragedy to help others—or who seems to be trying to help themselves. And as citizens, we should also take this opportunity to look at our own behavior. If any of us are able, please donate to the Red Cross for relief efforts, start a collection area in your town for donations that can be sent to the stricken area or donate blood. Information is available at www.redcross.org to help our fellow citizens.