There are plenty of heartbreaking details yet to resurface about the fires that raged through Maui and leveled the seaside town of Lahaina, but there’s little doubt that government incompetence contributed to the tragedy. Precautionary measures to mitigate the island’s high fire risks had been insufficiently implemented, according to The Wall Street Journal. Fire crews had initially responded to the fire and declared it “100% contained” before it later reignited. After the fire spread, the area’s siren alert system lay silent. As people lost power and cell service, local officials warned some via glitchy messages on their cell phones; some never got the warnings at all. According to evacuees, road closures made it harder for fleeing residents to escape, trapping some in their cars as the fire roared through.
Perhaps worst of all, the Department of Land and Natural Resources “delayed the release of water that landowners wanted to help protect their property from fires” until it was “too late,” according to the Honolulu Civil Beat. Four people “with knowledge of the situation” told the local outlet that M. Kaleo Manuel, the agency’s deputy director for water resource management, “balked” at a Maui property management company’s desperate request for water. The delay reported lasted more than five hours.
According to the New York Post, Manuel had previously discussed the need for water distribution to be based on “true conversations about equity.” Formerly affiliated with the Obama Foundation, Manuel insisted last year that Hawaiians must “coexist” with resources like water.
Is that the kind of guy you want in charge of decisions that might save or cost your life?
This kind of apparent incompetence infects nearly every sphere woke activists can get their PowerPoint-clicking fingers on. Whether by hiring people who score high on DEI rubrics instead of job qualifications, or just by flat-out hiring people who want to tear down the systems they’re supposed to be running, the folks in charge are playing with, well, fire.
For the sake of inclusivity, the Federal Aviation Administration, which is currently advertising air traffic controller positions, notes on its website that it uses “Direct Hiring Authorities” to “expedite” hiring of “People with Severe Disabilities” such as “complete paralysis, severe intellectual disability and psychiatric disability.” Doesn’t that make you feel confident in the people you entrust with your life every time you fly?
As Peachy Keenan noted in these pages last month, airlines like United and American are openly hiring people based on characteristics like race and sex, which, last I checked, have nothing to do with knowing how to fly a plane. In a twist of fate that definitely no one could have foreseen, “the last 12 months have delivered the highest number of near-collisions and narrowly averted disasters in modern aviation history.”
Speaking of entrusting your life to someone, have you been to the doctor’s office lately? How does it feel to depend on medical “professionals” who have to ask you whether you’re a man or a woman? Or to know that the American Academy of Family Physicians will look at your care through “diversity, equity, inclusiveness and antiracism lenses”?
Despite the Supreme Court’s verdict that affirmative action policies are unconstitutional, medical schools are still considering ways to use “adversity scores” to artificially inflate or deflate the number of students of different races that make the cut and eventually become your local doctor. You probably didn’t care what race your doctor is — bigot!
Not only will conferring MDs based on superficial qualities that have nothing to do with competence mean your doctor may not be the most qualified, but woke policies in medicine are directly costing you care. Did you skip the Covid shot? Congrats, you’re no longer eligible for that lifesaving organ transplant you’ve been waiting for. Oh, you don’t like the banner in the hospital lobby proclaiming adherence to the idea that men can become women? Sorry, no more cancer treatment for you!
It’s the same mindset that leads to the hiring of people like Sam Brinton, the cross-dressing baggage claim larcenist who someone thought was qualified to help run the Energy Department’s Office of Nuclear Energy. Or the hiring of Pete Buttigieg, who failed upward from being an ineffective mayor to a transportation secretary who took time off during a supply chain crisis and was absent during a chemical disaster in East Palestine, Ohio.
It was also apparently the mindset of the CEO of Oceangate, who had explained how he didn’t want to hire a “bunch of 50-year-old white guys” before he tragically died in his own submersible earlier this year.
Need more examples? Just look at how the world’s greatest fighting force has stopped winning recruits and wars alike thanks to the incompetents in charge. Are you surprised that when top brass funnel chunks of that big ol’ “defense budget” Republicans vote for every year toward things like subsidizing service members’ abortions and transgender disfigurements, they get worse at fighting wars?
When soldiers, pilots, doctors, and emergency management directors — and anyone else whose job involves some level of responsibility for other people’s lives — are compromised by ideologies and hiring practices that devalue basic competence and mission fit, the people they serve become more at risk. It’s only a matter of time before the wrong man (or woman) for the job has your life in their hands. For victims in Maui, it sounds like that moment already came.