The push is on, and the false narrative is set for Donald Trump and his supporters. The picture of Donald Trump helping to unload a truck is making its rounds around the internet, even though the evidence of thinly veiled propaganda is right in everyone’s faces. Ask yourselves, friends and foes alike, who earnestly unloads a truck while wearing a $5,000.00 suit jacket in the middle of August in a Louisiana bayou country? Think very hard. The answer is: “no one“. At least, no one that doesn’t want to die of heat stroke, anyway.
I grew up in north Texas, where a hot day can tip into three digits, but the humidity stayed fairly manageable. Even then, Texans don’t run around wearing suits when working in their yards in August. Baton Rouge, Louisiana is another animal altogether. Not only is it hot as sin, but the humidity can be crippling. No one in that swamp land is fool enough to work outside while wearing three layers of clothing. Mike Pence (on the right) at least has the good sense to roll up his sleeves, like any self respecting man does when there’s work to do. Donald doesn’t even take out his cuff links.
What does that tell me? It tells me that he was never intending to work very long or very hard. The shameful photo-op ends after only forty-nine seconds. He barely knows what to do with the boxes as he hands them off. Please get this point through some Trump supporter’s head: less than a minute of unloading a materials from one truck didn’t change a single life in Louisiana. Not one. If he didn’t come anywhere near that truck, it still would have been unloaded.
Unloading the truck wasn’t why he stepped pointlessly into a line so close to other people that they could barely move. He stepped up to touch boxes so the cameras that he was asked not to bring could capture an image of him touching boxes long enough that an image of him doing so could become the political narrative. That’s just what’s happened, and I’m not going to let him do it.
In 2005, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama were hit by hurricane Katrina, a historically powerful hurricane that claimed the lives of over 1,800 men, women, and children. Did Donald Trump show up to unload trucks then? No. Did he send any trucks of relief supplies down to aid the survivors? No. Did he donate any money to relief funds to aid the people trying to piece their lives back together after the storm? No. Where was he? He wasn’t running for president in 2005.
In 2012, New Jersey bore the brunt of hurricane Sandy, a powerful hurricane that claimed the lives of 157 Jerseyans. Did Trump show up to unload a trucks then? No. Did he send any trucks of relief supplies to aid the survivors? No. Did he donate any money to relief funds to aid the people trying to piece their lives back together after the storm? No. Where was he? He wasn’t running for president in 2012.
Donald Trump didn’t spend those forty-nine seconds unloading a few boxes of relief goods from a truck in a disaster area for the people of Louisiana. He spent those forty-nine seconds unloading those few boxes of relief goods from a truck in a disaster area for Donald Trump. He came down to Louisiana to talk to people in front of cameras to find out information he could have gotten over the phone, without interrupting crucial recovery efforts and diverting emergency services, such as the state and city police that had to secure him during his tour of a city cleaning up after a disaster.
In 2005, George W. Bush was heavily criticized for not touring around in the heavily damaged areas in the aftermath of hurricane Katrina. So what? He did the right thing. He did not land, because he knew that the emergency services of the three states could not accommodate a presidential tour that would accomplish exactly nothing while they were desperately trying to save lives and restore basic services. Diverting emergency services from their primary duty of serving and protecting their communities was not only pointless, it was immoral, especially with entire communities cut off and wiped out by storm damage.
In 2012, Barrack Obama lands in New Jersey days after hurricane Sandy has torn through the community. He walks around hugging people surveying the wreckage, and giving speeches about how he will help the victims of the storm. After the election, most of those promises were not fulfilled. The recovery effort remained just as disorganized as it was before he showed up, and exactly zero people were actually helped by him walking around New Jersey.
It was classic Photo Op propaganda. It is immoral. It is unethical. It is a lie. It was wrong when Obama did it in 2012. It was wrong when Trump does it in 2016.
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