After Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in 2005, George W. Bush was rightly criticized for the slow and inadequate response to the natural disaster. Rapper Kanye West declared that Bush didn’t care about black people, which drew a ton of flak from the conservative media.
12 years later, an even more disastrous hurricane named Maria lashed the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico. The island of Puerto Rico is almost completely without power, water, or food. The Donald has done very little to help, and has taken to Twitter to attack local government officials in Puerto Rico who have complained about the slow response time.
The conservative media has done little to criticize this pathetic lack of aid. The front page of Fox News is currently featuring his latest Twitter feud with island officials, while running stories about the national anthem, and other diversions from the Puerto Rico crisis.
Where was Trump while all of this is going on? At the golf course last weekend, obviously. He has now gone to Puerto Rico, and acted like a generous benefactor while launching paper towels into the crowd.
Trump is supposed to be acting like a chief executive, not a business promoter tossing advertising material at a hockey game, while joking that the crisis was creating a budget issue.
In the heart of San Juan, in fact, a few miles from the air base where Trump gave his thumbs-up report on progress, people stacked sewage-fouled clothes and mattresses outside houses and businesses lacking electricity nearly two weeks after the storm. “Nobody’s come,” said Ray Negron, 38, collecting debris in the Playita neighborhood.
Trump pledged an all-out effort to help the island while adding, somewhat lightly: “Now I hate to tell you, Puerto Rico, but you’ve thrown our budget a little out of whack because we’ve spent a lot of money on Puerto Rico. And that’s fine. We’ve saved a lot of lives.” (Miami Herald)
It will take Puerto Rico years, if not decades, to recover from this disaster. Trump is treating the people of Puerto Rico like homeless recipients of his charity, not American citizens in desperate need of our assistance.
This is beyond the pale. This is not the America I grew up in. Trump has turned our nation into an international laughingstock. Cthulhu help us all.