In a year that has so far been defined by a hurricane in the White House, 2017 is also proving to be known for powerful hurricanes in the south. The past couple weeks have seen Hurricanes Irma and Harvey bring devastation to Texas and Florida. Two states where Republican hypocrisy is now on public display for everyone to see.
Hurricanes have a tendency to reveal a leader’s true colors. Take Houston’s megachurch Pastor Joel Osteen for example, he kept his church doors shut for much of Hurricane Harvey. I’m sure that’s what Jesus would have done. He is unlikely to suffer the consequences of his inactions, but for those who wish to see it, Osteen’s bull shit is now front and center.
Politicians on the other hand, can’t be seen keeping the doors closed, or in this case, the federal wallets closed. It would be political suicide to deny help to those who vote them into office. It’s why Texas Senator Ted Cruz begged for federal aid after Harvey hit Texas. In true hypocritical fashion though, he didn’t give a damn when he voted against aid for New York following Superstorm Sandy.
Republicans love small government, low taxes and even less industry regulations. But when these storms hit, these red states require more federal aid and money because they collect less in taxes and are required to clean up after the unregulated industrial businesses who fail to safeguard their toxic chemicals and waste. In other words, the more progressive states end up flipping the bill for their ignorance and lawlessness.
In the minds of Republicans, socialism is evil until there’s an emergency. Any kind of socialism as a preemptive measure however has always been laughable. That’s why we pay before we get healthcare unless you’re already in the emergency room.
The Trump Administration has been very quick in getting financial aid to hurricane ravaged parts of the country. Predominantly Republican states. Democratic states on the other hand being ravaged by wildfires have been left to burn. Federal aid to these states have been slow coming, if they come at all.
Republican Hypocrisy doesn’t stop with government aid of course. Given the states which have been hit by hurricanes, much can be written about climate change and the fact that Texas Governor Greg Abbott and Florida Governor Rick Scott are both climate change deniers.
It is a fact that these storms are much more severe due to manmade climate change. They are thus showing us what the future will bring. These Republican Governors however remain steadfast in their denial. Governor Scott has even outlawed the term Climate Change for government employees.
A question I overheard over the weekend got me thinking; Should Republican Governors who reject and refuse to combat Climate Change be refused federal aid when Mother Nature wreaks havoc on their state? After all, the rest of the country is once again left to flip the bill as Scott and Abbott stand back and do nothing premptively.
My simple answer of course was no. I’d like to believe that progressives can’t just sit idly by as people suffer. We just pinch our nose to block the smell of Republican Hypocrisy and keep on fighting…
This hurricane season (coupled with all the wildfires) should be used as a demonstration as to what mother nature can do when we warm the oceans. The scary thing is it’s only the beginning. Hurricane season ends in a month, but the age of global warming is still in its infancy.
Finally, let this crazy weather season be a reminder to everyone, Democrats and Republicans alike, that Ronald Reagan was dead wrong. How many people in Texas and Florida are saying “government is not the solution to our problem, government is the problem?”