It’s time that we stop using Hurricane Harvey as something to play politics with.
I’m not saying that this disaster will have no effect on politics, or that it shouldn’t factor in later on. I’m just stating that the disaster is yet to be over and it’s wildly inappropriate that we already have Democrats climbing over the debris to go after President Trump for doing literally anything that doesn’t have to do with this hurricane.
We are currently in the middle of one of the worst disasters in modern Texas history. It’s already a disaster zone in the Corpus Christi area, considering they just got slammed by the first Category 4 hurricane to strike Texas since Hurricane Carla in 1961. It only got worse once the Houston area started getting drowned by the rain bands of Harvey, which is now predicted to give the area at least fifty inches of rainfall and has already dumped eleven trillion tons of water on the city. People have had their homes flooded or destroyed, their belongings taken by the winds and floodwaters.
So why in the world do people think that this is the time to score cheap political points against the President of the United States?
This started before the storm even made landfall. Salon.com put out an article entitled “Trump Just Flunked His First Natural Disaster Test,” informing the public that since President Trump tweeted out a “useless campaign ad,” he had inevitably failed the public in his job of helping Texas prepare for the first major hurricane to strike the United States since 2005.
Meanwhile, Hurricane Harvey was gaining strength in the Gulf of Mexico while the governments of the United States and Texas worked with citizens in order to ensure that Texas was ready for this storm.
Then, Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut criticized the president for tweeting about his upcoming visit to Missouri, tweeting that “at this exact moment people are dying in the worst natural disaster of his Presidency & instead of leading he’s attacking Democrats.” Instead of actually thinking about the fact that the president had just been tweeting about Hurricane Harvey, that he very likely had been continuously monitoring and responding to the situation, or that perhaps the governing of the United States can’t stop due to a singular crisis, Senator Murphy decided that now was the time to criticize the president instead of offering his own help to the people of Texas in whatever way possible or offering to help the president in the midst of such a crisis. Rather than actually show real concern for the people of Texas, Senator Murphy was seeking to distinguish himself from the president for a potential campaign against him.
On the other side of the country, southern Texas was demolished under the weight of a hurricane that forecasters had major issues predicting, and the upper Texas coast suffered the worst flooding it had seen since Tropical Storm Allison sixteen years prior.
This simply is not the time for political points. People have died. Homes have been decimated. Houston and cities nearby are still taking on major rainfall and citizens of Texas, including myself, are still stuck indoors due to the extreme flooding. It is extraordinarily inappropriate for the Democratic Party and the media to jump onboard the criticism train at the expense of the people of Texas who are gasping for relief from this storm. This storm is not a political hockey-puck. It is a natural disaster that involves real people with real lives. We are grateful for our emergency responders, for our public officials that are handling this in the best way they could due to the short notice that Harvey gave us. We are appreciative of the fact that the President and First Lady will be coming to Texas and that the White House has been doing all it can to coordinate a suitable federal response to this unprecedented crisis. The people of Texas aren’t interested in politics in the middle of a hurricane. They are interested in the goodwill of people, of the courage of our first responders, and the efforts of our officeholders.
There is no good excuse to use this hurricane as a political point right now. Save it for later once the rain has stopped and the people are rebuilding. In the meantime, find a way to actually make a meaningful contribution to society by helping out those who are hurt or donating to funds that can help with that cause.