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O’Reilly: Sandy teaches the lesson of self-reliance

Published: Saturday, Nov. 3, 2012 5:30 a.m. CDT

Here’s the big lesson from superstorm Sandy: Mother Nature sneers at high tech, mocks modern convenience and couldn’t care less about what kind of person you are. She will smack you if she wants to.

As we have become addicted to machines, many of us have forgotten about nature. We must have gizmos. Sandy laughed and took them away. Power, gone. Internet, dark. Cellphones, not happening.

Suddenly, it’s 1850 with two exceptions – battery-operated flashlights and radios.

So what is the lesson here?

Actually, there are a few.

First: No government agency can help you when disaster strikes. Any assistance will be after the fact and slow.

Second: To ride out any storm effectively, you should be self-reliant and resilient. That means you have to anticipate problems and have some solutions ready.

For example, where I live on Long Island, the power infrastructure is a disaster and has been for years. The power company, LIPA, simply cannot keep the juice flowing under duress. I have accepted that, and so I bought a generator. However, during Sandy, the generator did not work. You can imagine how many four-letter words were uttered. But I had a Plan B. I know some guys who can repair generators, and they fixed mine very quickly. I have a long-term relationship with these guys and will reward them.

So, I rode out the storm pretty well, and that’s good because there are children in my home.

Not once did I think the local, state or federal government was going to help me. When President Obama speaks about government being there for you, I roll my eyes. No government has ever been there for the individual. Ever.

Sadly, we are becoming a nation dependent on other people and very reliant on machines. Sandy’s destruction brought us back to the 19th century. Many people were lost without their appliances because they are not self-reliant. They do not think ahead.

Life is hard, and then you die. But while you’re alive, you’ll be far better off if you forget about the big-government nonsense, de-emphasize the machines and begin incorporating the discipline of self-reliance into your life. Americans need to wise up, and with the election just a few days away, we have an opportunity to do so.

We the people need leadership that will solve problems, be fiscally responsible and promote individual responsibility. The charlatans that promise big government protection will always be around, but they are no match for Sandy and her friends.

That is the lesson of this terrible storm.

• Veteran TV news anchor Bill O’Reilly is host of the Fox News show “The O’Reilly Factor” and author of the book “Pinheads and Patriots: Where You Stand in the Age of Obama.”

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