Disaster Zone

Craig Fugate Calls Border Wall Not an Emergency

Cheapening the terms 'emergency' and 'disaster'.

by Eric Holdeman / January 14, 2019

I have read many things that Craig Fugate has written and spoken about. I have never heard him cross into the political world quite like he did with his statements in this article, Former FEMA Boss: Border Situation Is Not Emergency.

I recommend the link above for your reading.

Being a history major, I can follow his comments about presidential power and hearkening back to past presidents' actions. Lincoln took many actions that caused people to consider him a dictator. Note that Lincoln was looking for a general who would vigorously prosecute the war against the rebels. There is this letter responding to Major General Joseph Hooker's comments about dictatorship:

Major General Hooker:

I have placed you at the head of the Army of the Potomac. Of course I have done this upon what appear to me to be sufficient reasons. And yet I think it best for you to know that there are some things in regard to which, I am not quite satisfied with you. I believe you to be a brave and a skilful soldier, which, of course, I like. I also believe you do not mix politics with your profession, in which you are right. You have confidence in yourself, which is a valuable, if not an indispensable quality. You are ambitious, which, within reasonable bounds, does good rather than harm. But I think that during Gen. Burnside's command of the Army, you have taken counsel of your ambition, and thwarted him as much as you could, in which you did a great wrong to the country, and to a most meritorious and honorable brother officer. I have heard, in such way as to believe it, of your recently saying that both the Army and the Government needed a Dictator. Of course it was not for this, but in spite of it, that I have given you the command. Only those generals who gain successes, can set up dictators. What I now ask of you is military success, and I will risk the dictatorship. The government will support you to the utmost of it's ability, which is neither more nor less than it has done and will do for all commanders. I much fear that the spirit which you have aided to infuse into the Army, of criticising their Commander, and withholding confidence from him, will now turn upon you. I shall assist you as far as I can, to put it down. Neither you, nor Napoleon, if he were alive again, could get any good out of an army, while such a spirit prevails in it.

And now, beware of rashness. Beware of rashness, but with energy, and sleepless vigilance, go forward, and give us victories.

Yours very truly
A. Lincoln

Bringing us back to 2019, it is important that our system of government, the three branches — executive, legislative and judicial — be preserved as equals, in order to provide balance to our nation's long-term governance. 

The technique of declaring an emergency, be it for a disaster, homelessness [see my earlier blog post on that subject] or the need to circumvent Congress must be done with restraint. I fear that the use of "declaring an emergency" is becoming an overused phrase and tactic in our society today.