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Can America take a punch? Is it prepared for another terrorist attack on U.S. soil?
Those questions were left to be pondered after listening to Rachel Maddow’s panel discussion today titled “Can America take a Punch: Reactions or Overreactions to Terrorism” at the 59th annual Conference on World Affairs.
Maddow, who hosts her own talk show on Air America Radio addressed issues concerning America’s response to terrorism and natural disasters and the country’s infrastructure, determining whether it has improved over the past years or not.
Maddow began by expressing her belief that a lot of American citizens look back with anger in remembrance of 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina. Whether it was the warnings signs that were ignored or the immediate response, people are still upset.
Maddow said there are major lessons that American’s ought to have learned from those attacks; the awareness that another attack is prevalent and the country’s need for a stronger infrastructure that can withstand a punch or two.
“We need to invest in our infrastructure…the government needs to take steps to help us, and yes, I realize they can’t protect us from everything, but we need to improve what we have in place,” Maddow said.
According to dictionary.com, infrastructure refers to “the fundamental facilities and systems serving a country, city, or area, as transportation and communication systems, power plants, and schools,” all of which are prevalent in America.
“(Maddow’s) topic was one that I have not thought of before, but I do believe and agree with her that the U.S. is becoming a second class country and she is right on with shoring up infrastructure,” said Jennifer Labrecque, a panel attendant.
Maddow pointed out flaws that she sees in our country such as our organized health care system, or lack there of, the need for fuel, water, food and our electrical grid that she said is held together by paper clips.
“At any moment a terrorist could wipe out our electricity for a number of days or weeks and then where would that leave Americans?” Maddow said. “Do we have a back up to the system? Why are we so far behind the times?”
Maddow said she believes America did not respond in a practical way to 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina and it has become internationally evident that the U.S. has become an embarrassment.
“Compared to other countries around the world, our credibility is dwindling,” Maddow said.
“This side of the argument is not heard in the media or the world. (Maddow) is fighting this fight alone. I believe she is very progressive and one of the few who is speaking the truth,” Tom Luecke, a panel attendant said,
In this truth, Maddow envisions a country that is able to take a punch and give a punch in return.
Contact Campus Press Staff Writer Elizabeth Stortroen at Elizabeth.Stortroen@thecampuspress.com