The residents of Texas’ Gulf Coast are bracing for what is predicted to be the most catastrophic natural disaster to hit the United States in twelve years. Hurricane Harvey has been officially designated a Category Three hurricane and it is still picking up speed. Evacuation orders have been issued to the affected areas, but time is running out.
Across the nation, citizens are praying for the safety of those in the path of Harvey. And the Federal government is gearing up to respond as needed. That effort may be hampered by Donald Trump’s failure to fully staff the agencies responsible for emergency operations. Time will tell if they are adequately prepared for what’s coming.
The aftermath of these disasters is generally attended to by a united nation caring for their fellow citizens. In times of need, Americans are admirably empathetic and generous. Among the first steps taken following a crisis like this is the declaration of a national emergency. That makes both funding and other resources available to the communities that require them.
Texas has two Republican senators who are already reaching out to the federal government for assistance. Ted Cruz and John Cornyn have written to Trump urging him to grant a request for the disaster declaration. They said in part:
“Given the potential catastrophic impact that the Hurricane may have on Texas communities, we strongly support this request and urge you to provide any and all emergency protective measures available by a major disaster declaration.”
That all sounds well and good. And it is precisely what is needed to protect the welfare of the people of Texas. However, it points out an especially heinous brand of hypocrisy exhibited by both men. In 2013 both senators voted against disaster relief for the victims of Hurricane Sandy. One hundred and fifty-seven people in nine states died directly or indirectly due to Sandy. It produced a total of seventy-one billion dollars in damage. That makes it second only to Katrina in devastation.
The people of Texas should not be punished for the heartless insensitivity of their representatives. They will require substantial assistance and, as Americans, they deserve it. But they should also remember this at election time. Cruz and Cornyn lack the compassion for their fellow citizens that they seek now for themselves. It’s typical of Republican selfishness and tendency to politicize even national tragedies. That’s something Trump has done repeatedly, even with respect to previous hurricanes:
Hurricane is good luck for Obama again- he will buy the election by handing out billions of dollars.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 30, 2012
With long gas lines & total disarray from storm, the hurricane may yet be a negative for Obama.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 2, 2012
Does that mean that Trump will not be handing out billions in aid for the victims of Harvey? Unlikely. But it is confirmation that he will use the tragedy for his own benefit and brag about it afterwards. Even if his administration fouls it up. Hopefully his narcissism won’t get in the way of the help that the good people of Texas really need.
How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.