Tragedy shows America’s heart

It’s odd to say that there is something gratifying at all about hurricanes striking two big population centers in two weeks.

But strike they did and the gratifying part is that Americans were unified for awhile.

The more than $14 million raised by a hurricane aid telethon garnered this week’s share of star-studded publicity, but it’s the $10 donations to the Red Cross and the United Way and other charities and local relief efforts that have mounted since Hurricane Harvey wallopped Texas in the days before Hurricane Irma hit Florida and the Caribbean.

Houston Texans’ defensive standout J.J. Watt stood head and shoulders above everyone, raising $30 million for his team’s town and seemingly being all over the place to offer a hand loading and unloading supplies and supplying hugs and handshakes as needed. It is a reminder of what used to be good about professional sports in the U.S.

The federal government, too, seemed to ingore pundits and the extremists on either side of the political spectrum, strapping together an aid package for Texas and all but vowing one will be on the way for Florida to keep the Federal Emergency Management Agency working.

Of course, the return of the partisan screaming could be a moment away, if storm Sandy’s recovery efforts along the East Coast are a template.

But for now, Democrats and a lot of Republicans have taken what is at least an expedient step, helping people.

That the move came at the same time as a debt ceiling raise means the shouting has merely been kicked down the road until December.

At least, this time, political expediency reflected what we hope are the true hearts of Americans, to help one another when needs arise, no matter upon which side of the things that divide us we happen to fall.

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