Un fragmento del interesante artículo The Wall Street Journal [July 15, 2010] La articulista destaca la muestra de competencia y determinación para dar potente señal como en el Chile de hoy y para su gobierno, la vida de cada ciudadano es importante.
A government of a mature and complex democracy proved itself capable and competent. This was heartening and surprising. Governments are charged with doing certain vital and necessary things, but they are overburdened, distracted, so we no longer expect them to do them well. President Sebastián Piñera, in office five months when the mine caved in, saw the situation for what it was. Thirty three men in a hole in the ground, in a mine that probably shouldn’t have been open. A disaster, a nation riveted.
What do you do? You throw yourself at the problem. You direct your government: This is the thing we do now. You say, “We will get the men.” You put your entire persona behind it, you put it all on the line, you gamble that your nation can do it. You trust your nation to do it. You do whatever possible to see your nation does it. And the day the rescues are to begin, you don’t show up and wring your hands so people can say “Ah, he knew it might not work, he was not unrealistic, he was telling us not to get our hopes up.” No, you stand there smiling with joy because you know it will work, you know your people will come through, you have utmost confidence. And so you go and radiate your joy from the first moment the rescue began and the first man came out straight through to the last man coming out. You stand. You stay.
It was the opposite of the governor of Louisiana during Katrina, projecting helplessness and loserdom, or the president flying over the storm, or the mayor holing up in a motel deciding this might be a good time for a breakdown. This was someone taking responsibility.
The event transcended class differences, social barriers, regional divides. The entire nation—rich, poor, all colors and ages—was united. Scientists and engineers gave everything to save men who’d lived rough, working-class lives. “Every one of them who came up was treated like the first one,” said a reporter on MSNBC.
What does it do to the children of a nation to see that? Everyone from Chile will be proud as they go through the world. “You saved the miners.” Chilean children will know, “We are the kind of people who get them out alive. We made up our mind to do it and we did.”
What a transformative event this is going to be for that nation.
A closing note, another contrast. President Obama this week told the New York Times, speaking of his first two years, that he realized too late “there’s no such thing as shovel-ready projects.” He’s helpless in the face of environmental impact statement law. But every law, even those, can be changed if you have the vision, will, instinct and guts to do it, if you start early, if you’re not distracted by other pursuits.
“Shovel ready.” Chile just proved, in the profoundest sense, it is exactly that. And in doing so, it moved the rough heart of the world.
PEGGY NOONAN *