Wednesday, August 30, 2017

1838 trump in Texas

1838 trump in Texas: We Can Only Hope

Did trump learn anything from his trip to Texas?  We can only hope. Did he watch how real Americans with a real disaster respond? This is his first shot at dealing with one not of his own making. Or was he just asleep at that folding table while the real world sloshed around him.

At this writing, the rain is starting to taper off in Texas and Louisiana.  And that means the long term work can soon begin.

But here’s the lesson trump should have learned and maybe would have learned if his eyes were at least half open:  Government works.

Houston wasn’t expecting the kind of deluge it got.  But it had a plan and the plan worked as well as any could.

On the street… the entire Texas National Guard is mobilized.  Twelve thousand men and women.  Every cop, every firefighter, every EMS worker is on duty. Each has tasks and is completing them as fast as nature allows.

There are no territorial disputes here, just cooperation.  There are no finger pointers. The fingers are too busy to point.  There are no malingerers.

Still, there are thousands made suddenly homeless.  And there are the dead and injured.  No accurate count is possible yet.  But so what if there were?

The mayor, the governor, the congressional delegation, the disaster management people are all in there with shovels and street sweepers and hoses and trucks.

Some areas are running short of space.  Warehousing instant homeless in the 13,000 range isn’t easily accomplished. And some private operators of large buildings are showing their true colors by keeping the doors closed.

The evangelist Joel Osteen had to be shamed into opening his megachurch to the storm victims and now denies it was ever closed. If it was, as reported, it isn’t now.

The whole point, the whole lesson is that we work together and government provides the infrastructure and planning that makes something like this search-rescue-recovery effort possible.

The trump, sleepy as he was, seemed astonished by the choreography of the effort.  This kind of planning does not appear from nowhere.  People thought this through and connected with one another for decades. Had they not we’d have drowning deaths in six figures by now.

So when he next acts to destroy the EPA or public education, the next time he disowns and denies climate change, the next time he brags about the size of his crowds or sends out a Twitter storm of brags and complaints and white power anthems, maybe just maybe he’ll have learned something about the function of government from this trip.

We can only hope.

I’m Wes Richards. My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
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© WJR 2017

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