Donald John Trump made a serious mess of the presidential response to a manmade tragedy, the one that occurred Charlottesville, Va.
He now faces another task: responding to Mother Nature’s disaster that is going to take a dramatic toll on residents of the Texas Gulf Coast.
The president has yet to visit Charlottesville. In the interest of offering constructive advice to a man I’ve been bashing repeatedly since he declared his presidential candidacy, I want to offer this piece of advice. None of this is terribly original, but I offer it to provide some evidence that I’m not just a naysaying critic.
Mr. President, be sure you take time to visit the places that are certain to be devastated by the storm’s rage. Don’t wait too long. Don’t dawdle. Don’t let too much time pass before the pain subsides.
Hurricane Harvey is going to blast the living daylights out of the Gulf Coast, most likely near Corpus Christi. It’ll move inland and pour a lot of water on places such as San Antonio and Austin. Flood warnings are out. Texas emergency response officials are doing what they can to get people out of harm’s way.
But this, sir, is the moment for which you must be prepared.
Once the storm clears out of the coastal area, there will be plenty of pain. You’re going to see a lot of Americans picking up the pieces of their shattered lives. They want to know their president cares enough about them to venture into the rubble, to stand with them, to embrace them, to listen to their concerns and to share in their heartache.
You need to bring the entire weight of the federal government to bear in helping these communities repair themselves, That’s what presidents do in times of peril. And take my word for it, Mr. President, this hurricane is going to bring a lot of misery to many thousands of your fellow Americans.
You have to respond to this disaster, sir, in a demonstrable way.
Go to the storm site and tell Hurricane Harvey’s victims that you are with them — all the way!