When hurricanes and politics collide

Motorists head north on U.S. 1 in heavy traffic as Hurricane Irma continues its path in the northeast Caribbean, Tuesday, Sept. 5, 2017, in Key Largo, Fla. Alan Diaz | AP

In times of national tragedy, it must be difficult for the politics-obsessed among us to resist a “serves ’em right” smugness. Garrison Keillor couldn’t.

In his latest column, the humorist joins forces with hurricanes to take aim at red states where people chose to live, not at all unlike the people in eastern Minnesota who shrugged when the Red River destroyed homes and businesses 20 years ago and they said, “why did they choose to live near a river?”, a question which revealed more about their knowledge of Minnesota geology and history than the IQ of people in trouble.

But the fact is you cannot want a more civil world and then find glee in your heart when people suffer.

Conservatives blanch at spending additional billions to subsidize health care for the needy, but a truckload of cash for Texas? No problem. It makes me think that we Minnesotans should get a few billion in federal aid for recovery from the upcoming winter.

It is going to be cold. This will cause damage to homes. Drive-in movie theaters and golf courses and marinas will suffer loss of revenue. We must salt the highways to prevent accidents and the salt corrodes our cars. And then there is the mental anguish.

If Minnesota gets billions of dollars for winter recovery, then I am going to seriously consider becoming a conservative. As a philosophy of governing, conservatism is rather sketchy, but if it helps Minnesota, I am all in favor. I have my principles but I can be bought, same as the rest of you.

Hurricane Irma is bearing down on a red state with 29 electoral votes. Try to contain the glee, please.