Letters: Cheapening the fight

Matt Simmons’ recent column, “Blame Conservative Thought,” is largely devoid of factual evidence to support his claims against conservatives. Simmons offers an emotional appeal to his liberal audience and fails to address the facts on New Orleans and Hurricane Katrina.

Simmons initially suggests that the lack of government response was due to the predominantly poor, black population of New Orleans. While correctly acknowledging that Governor Blanco and other officials responded slowly to the disaster, he seems blind to the fact that neither she nor the Mayor of New Orleans are conservatives. Their failure to execute known emergency plans (and subsequent reluctance to ask for federal assistance) was the most immediate cause of suffering for those who were unable to evacuate New Orleans.

Any measure of independent thought reveals that people of all political, racial, and socioeconomic backgrounds are to blame for the unfortunate situation in New Orleans. Ultra-partisans like Simmons offer nothing in the realm of intelligent, objective solutions to this increasingly important issue. By ignoring the facts and using this tragedy as a platform for his sheepish generalizations, Simmons undermines the struggles and suffering of the victims of Hurricane Katrina.

Mark Daugherty

University alumnus