At what point do mainstream politicians and media commentators face the fact that we have a deranged occupant of the White House?
At what point will they stop acting as if he is simply odd or even egocentric and admit that there is something deeply wrong with the occupant?
Trump’s responses to San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz have been nothing short of deplorable, and I use that word quite consciously. His words, in the face of the almost indescribable devastation of Puerto Rico, are beyond callous. They are beyond insensitive. They display a complete lack of being in touch with reality and a mean-spiritedness unlike anything that I have seen displayed by a President in recent times.
When the Mayor of San Juan suggests that Puerto Rico is facing genocide, she is clearly not using that term loosely. How does one explain the complete lack of planning on the part of the US government with regard to disaster recovery? How does one explain the failure to have sufficient truck drivers to deploy to move supplies when there is the U.S. military available?
How does one explain the relative silence in Congress in the face of a disaster facing millions? How can one rationalize an administration congratulating itself on a job well done when Puerto Rico resembles the aftermath of carpet-bombing?
Is it as simple as Puerto Rico being an island of black and brown people who cannot vote in presidential elections? Is it that Puerto Rico’s relevance to U.S. capitalism and to the U.S. war against Cuba is no longer a priority?
When Mayor Yulin Cruz cried “genocide,” it resonated in my soul. I felt and knew that the Trump administration along with the Congressional majority, could not give a damn about Puerto Rico. They will not permit it independence nor real equality, but would rather string it along, paying as little attention as they can.
Thus, while the cavalier approach of Trump is demented, the larger problem facing Puerto Rico is beyond that of one, arrogant individual. Puerto Rico has been strangled economically for years through policies of austerity. It is now being driven to the brink in the aftermath of the incompetent and insensitive response by the U.S. government to Hurricane Maria.
What are Puerto Rico and the rest of the Caribbean to expect when the next hurricane arrives? Trump seems to suggest an answer when he blasts Puerto Ricans for not doing enough: fend for themselves!