My home state was hit once again recently with major flooding. I say once again because we haven’t yet recovered from a recent flooding event that hit the northeastern part of the state a couple months ago and did a large amount of damage. The sad fact is flooding isn’t anything new here in my state.
Sad, too, is the fact that our recent flood event in the southern part of Louisiana, in and around the Baton Rouge area, has been overshadowed in the national news with the Rio Olympics and other major news stories, one of which is the Presidential race that’s now in full swing.
Lots of our local people are concerned with the lack of national attention from not only our National Media, but from our President, Barack Obama, who is enjoying himself while on vacation in Martha’s Vineyard. In fact only one of the Presidential Candidates in this years election has visited the state, Donald Trump.
Back when Hurricane Katrina hit the state President Bush overflew Louisiana and the Gulf Coast but did not go directly there. He said doing so immediately would be a distraction and he had little interest in just having a photo-op. The democrats and the national media LOUDLY criticized him for not coming, saying it showed a lack of concern by him.
What Bush DID do, however, was everything he was legally allowed to do, even to the point of begging the then Democrat Gov. Kathleen Blanco to allow both more federal aid and control. She refused, at least to the point of it no longer being refusable, so the story goes.
During the aftermath of Katrina optics were a major point of fault placed against Bush, even though his focus was on New Orleans and the rest of the Gulf Coast, almost all of which suffered widespread destruction. The press however focused overwhelmingly negatively toward Bush.
Now the people are asking where President Obama is, and the answer we hear is “Oh, he would only be a distraction. He shouldn’t go.” The national media is mostly silent. Still, optics….
George Bush looking out Air Force One’s window at the flooded city below? “Look at that uncaring Bush!”
A smiling Obama playin golf? “Oh, don’t worry. He’s greatly concerned.”
But people want to know their lives are important to their elected officials, especially the one at the top. His seeing for himself would help the people understand he actually knows their plight.
Years ago there was flooding in Monroe, La. and Ronald Reagan flew in and toured the area. It did the people there a world of good, just lifting the spirits of the areas residents as they saw he knew and really understood the depth of their misfortune and suffering. He cared enough to come. They saw it for themselves.
Donald Trump came and brought with him both money and relief supplies. He toured the area, talked with the people, and saw it for himself. The people saw him and knew that, despite much of the national media pretty much ignoring all the suffering the flood had caused, he had heard and come to see and understand for himself what they had suffered.
Now I hear Obama has plans to come. That’s good, for he should. But is he coming just because he’s gotten some negative press from Trumps visit while he played golf? Or, does he really care now? Will we ever know? Optics? Or concern?
By the way, anybody seen that other lady running for President? Hillary Clinton, where’s she at? I haven’t seen her around here, have you?