Disaster Zone

Presidential Debates: No Statements About Homeland Security

For the 2008 and now the 2012 Presidential Election, nary a word about Homeland Security.

by Eric Holdeman / October 23, 2012

Another Presidential Debate season has come and gone and still no statements on the topic of Homeland Security or emergency management.  We have heard plenty about the economy, jobs, defense, schools, the national debt, college tuition, jobs, China, outsourcing, 401Ks, bayonets and horses, Israel, jobs, the deficit, off-shore accounts, and did I say jobs?


If anyone knows a good cartoonist, please send me their contact information because I have a great idea for a cartoon that I'd like to have drawn.  Should I get it done--I'll share it here on this blog.  It is about the role of emergency management and public policy.  It applies directly to the non-issue of Homeland Security (HLS) and its associated emergency management.


Which brings me to why HLS has not been a debate topic in the last eight years.  That being--nothing "really bad" has happened.  If America had experienced the Japanese Tsunami or the Christchurch earthquake had happened in the last four years in a major US city there would maybe be a 50/50 chance that the challenger would try to make the performance of the administration an issue, or if the response was so terrific, the incumbent would make hay over the performance of the Federal government in coming to the rescue of those in need.


I'm sure Craig Fugate and Secretary Napolitano are happy that their organizations did not have the political spotlight singling them out to the millions of people watching the debates.  Yet, are we doomed to always be on the back shelf of public policy and debate until someone screws up?  Perhaps we are better off being back in the shadows.  Yet, if there isn't a focus on disaster preparedness, disaster mitigation, disaster response or recovery it also means that the importance of these topics is, shall we say, irrelevant.


One consolation, President Obama did us the word "cybersecurity" once in the last debate.