The residents of Staten Island are pleading for help from elected officials, begging for gasoline, food and clothing three days after Sandy slammed the New York City borough.
“We’re going to die! We’re going to freeze! We got 90-year-old people!” Donna Solli told visiting officials. “You don’t understand. You gotta get your trucks down here on the corner now. It’s been three days!”
Three days. Only three days.
Staten Island was one of the hardest-hit communities in New York City. More than 80,000 residents are still without power. Many are homeless, and at least 19 people died on Staten Island because of the storm.
A desperate man with a starving family will kill for a can of beans.
Most people do not believe that. Most people think we are far too civilized to revert to such conduct.
But most people are wrong.
What triggered the French revolution? It wasn't politics. It wasn't differences between political parties. It was hunger.
When Josephe Jeanne Marie Antoinette von Habsburg-Lorraine was told the French people were starving and had no bread, she replied with the infamous comment that doomed her, her extravagant husband King Louis XIV , and all of France's privileged elite... "Well, then, let them eat cake".
Hunger is a more powerful motivator than any fancy speech Obama or Romney can dredge up. And in an area as influential as the Northeast United States, hunger can change everything, even as the rest of us sit by, helplessly watching events unfold.