Puerto Rico

by on October 2, 2017 in Politics

America doesn’t treat its territories very well. The relative responses to the hurricane that devastated Puerto Rico and those that followed the hurricanes that blew through Texas and Florida gives us a sharp and distasteful look into the Trump led American mentality.

Clearly territories are a lesser breed. And the people living there are somehow sub-American.

Nowhere is the more clear than in the awful performance of Trump.

The hurricane did not appear from nowhere. We all knew it was heading straight into Puerto Rico. We also knew it was a monster storm capable of doing enormous damage. Add to this foreknowledge the obvious truth that the island is in dire financial straits and has major infrastructure challenges, and anyone with executive responsibility ought to have been busy planning how to respond.

Apparently not. Trump was too busy golfing and complaining about the protests of sports players. His mind was not on Puerto Rico at all.

Nor was it for several days after the stream blew through.

When, finally, the American response was criticized for its inadequacy Trump went on offense. Instead of motivating a faster or better flow of aid, and instead of mobilizing the military to ship in vital supplies, he lashed out at his critics. In particular he singled out the mayor of San Juan who had been vocal in her criticism.

His words were priceless in their ability to encapsulate his bigotry and narcissism in  stark light. The mayor is a woman: Trump cannot stand criticism from a woman. She is Hispanic: Trump cannot stand criticism from minorities. Trump was thus doubly irate. She questioned his focus, so he lambasted her and her employees as being lazy. He said that Puerto Ricans want everything done for them.

His resort to stereotypical characterization of minority workers as indolent even in times of crisis adds to the growing evidence we have that Trump is a nasty bigot. His inability to think or plan ahead is testimony to his executive incompetence.

I am not going to fall into the trap of suggesting the bigotry of his words are aimed at his voter base in order to prop up his popularity. No. I think we all ought simply admit what is increasingly obvious. Trump meant exactly what he said, and our attribution of bigotry to his attitude is an accurate insight into his character.

Trump is simply a nasty person. And his flirtation with white supremacy and other racist far right emotions are a result not of strategy, but are part of his make-up. That they act also as rallying cries to his more extreme followers is neither there nor there. Trump is simply being Trump. And Trump is a bigot.

Puerto Rico is being left to flounder because it is not part of the mainland and is predominantly Hispanic.

That’s another blot on the American character courtesy of Trump.

And so the decline goes on.

Addendum [Oct. 3rd 2017]

Trump showed his cluelessness and his distaste for Puerto Rico today when, during his visit, he bragged about the new aircraft being ordered for the US military — the F-35. This plane has so far cost the US around $1.5 trillion which is what the lower cost estimates for the Iraq war are. This year’s budget included a further $10.5 billion for the F-35 project. 

But this enormous and ongoing cost is, apparently, not a budget buster. Trump appears to think it is normal.

The cost of the aid to Puerto Rico doesn’t get the same warm feeling. On the contrary, Trump complained that Puerto Rico was going to “throw the budget a little out of whack”. Oh: the cost of aid is expected to be right around the same as the F-35 appropriation this year. One is just fine. The other is a budget problem.

Bias?

Yes, bias, made even more obvious by Trump’s claim that the Katrina disaster was a “real catastrophe” whereas the state of Puerto Rico is evidently not.

Bias?

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