In April 2014 the Governor’s appointed “Emergency Manager” in the City of Flint switched the water from Detroit to the Flint River. They refused to add an anti-corrosive chemical that would ensure the water was not contaminated by lead in the pipes.
This was all done to save money. There was no other reason for the switch. In October 2015 after tests proved the population of the city was being poisoned by lead contamination, the city switched back to Detroit water supplies.
However, the damage was already done. The Governor knew about the poisoning of the city’s population long before the switch was made back. But, he claimed that everything was “just fine”.
Here we are today, about 2 1/2 years from the switch and the water in Flint is still being poisoned by lead pipes. The City has been trying to replace the lead pipes without any real financial help from the State.
Still, the problem continues. They have gotten to the point where most houses can safely use the water with proper filtering. However, Flint which is a mostly minority community has way too many people who cannot afford the filter systems.
Additionally, even if you put a filter on the tap, that does not protect you from lead poisoning from taking a shower if the shower does not also have a filter. Meaning the best way to filter the water is with a full house filter which are very expensive.
During all of this time, the State did provide bottle water to the residents. However, they made each resident go to “distribution” locations to pick up the water. Yesterday, a Federal Judge finally gave an order to force the State to deliver bottled water to every residence who does not have a filter system or declines the delivery.
The order says that officials must deliver four cases of bottled water per week beginning immediately. Of course the argument of the State that delivering water door-to-door was too expensive and possibly financially crippling.
We are still on the Republican meme that helping the people that the state poisoned was too expensive! It has been two and a half years since the switch and over a year since the poisoning was finally admitted to occurring. Yet, the Republican State still has not replaced all of the lead pipes in the city.
There were some minor players in this scandal that were convicted of the crime, but the main culprits the governor and his emergency manager are still out of jail and free to poison another city they don’t like very much.
How can anyone with an ounce of morality allow this to continue any longer? Why is it that people must suffer even get sick in order for the Republican Party to “save money” everywhere except in its own excesses?
This is the kind of things that happen when our democracy is ignored by a state in the name of “fiscal responsibility”. This is what happens when one party controls both chamber of their legislature and the Governor’s office. The people, especially the minorities, lose big time.
This crisis is going to have lasting effects on the people of Flint especially the children. We still don’t know the long-lasting physical and mental disabilities this poisoning is going to result in. And, apparently the Governor just doesn’t give a shit.
Michigan is not the only state in the nation that has these authoritarian laws. It is just one of many states that use “emergency managers” to take over a democratically elected government without any oversight. Maybe we will get a new TV Show called “Republicans Know Best” where they will highlight their ignorance so everyone can see for themselves.
Yet, this is now not just a problem for individual states. We have now elected a Federal Government with the same authoritarian mindset that the government of Michigan has.
This is the kind of problem that could have been eliminated years ago if Republicans had not stopped the Transportation and Infrastructure Bill. Things like lead pipes feeding us drinking water could have been replaced. But conservatives said it “would cost too much” to pass the bill.
Trump promised to replace our infrastructure, and even yesterday conservatives put cold water on his plan saying it would “cost too much”. There are literally hundreds upon hundreds of communities, cities, and towns that still use lead pipes to send you drinking water. Flint is not alone.
If Hillary Clinton had played up the Flint disaster and put it at the feet of the Republican Governor, maybe she would have carried Michigan and other states. But, she didn’t. Now we are faced with a Federal Government in the same make-up of Michigan’s government. What could possibly go wrong?
When I told my readers we needed to stop the Republican Party all the way down the ticket, this is what I was talking about. The American people, or at least too many of them, paid no attention to me or to the poor people of Flint Michigan. So, we now have Donald Trump as our President elect.
There is a direct correlation between “fiscal responsibility” and the poisoning of the people of Flint. When our new Congress starts talking about “fiscal responsibility” remember Flint. It may and probably will happen to you if you continue to remain silent and give in to their stupidity.
There are plenty of ways for the Government to reduce our deficits without hurting the people. Only, that is the only things Republican law makers focus on in their budget talks. They call them “entitlements” or things that “cost too much” instead of looking at the big picture of how much damage they will do if changed.
In essence, they just don’t care about you. Flint Michigan proves their lack of empathy towards those who count on them for help making them safer and their lives better. The true conservative and Republican motto is “if you aren’t rich, screw you!”
This election just made Flint go national.