Tuesday, October 3, 2017

The Banality of Evil in Action

Indifferent, insufferable, and insecure:

Nearly two weeks after Hurricane Maria pummeled the island of Puerto Rico, President Donald Trump touched down for the first time and immediately downplayed the devastation.

"Every death is a horror," Trump began, before comparing Puerto Rico's official death toll of 16 to "a real catastrophe, like Katrina," in which more than 1,800 people perished from the 2005 storm that ravaged New Orleans.

Just hours earlier, Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló warned reporters that he expected the death toll to climb. After Trump departed, he announced the death toll had risen to 34.

    Trump's post-storm visit checked all the boxes: He was briefed by local and federal officials, toured a residential neighborhood to speak to locals about storm damage and doled out emergency supplies at a church. He did it all while lauding the disaster relief response.

    Trump thinks he's being heroic by handing out supplies in a church. He sees nothing wrong with lofting paper towels into the outstretched hands of people he believes are there to admire him and validate his "good deed" for the day. 

    To appreciate the banality of Trump's level of evil, you have to ignore the fact that he continually brings up the fact that Puerto Rico is financially in debt. You have to ignore the fact that the response has been underwhelming and that it took the Mayor of San Juan to shame the U.S. government into action. You have to ignore the fact that at least a million people or more don't have drinking water. You have to be a rabid Trump supporter to ignore how ridiculous it is to shoot paper towel rolls like basketballs at people as part of your attempt to make it look like everything is fine.

    I have no doubt in my mind that, years from now, there won't be a single American who will admit voting for Trump or praising his efforts except for a handful of people who have been recorded doing so. There will be an outbreak of Trumpnesia, the sickening sense that one cannot remember thinking that voting for Trump would not lead to death and horror.

    Heckuva job getting Trump under control, General Kelly.

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