How to build an Anti-Trump Narrative: Puerto Rico Edition
Over the past few days we’ve started to see a narrative develop about Puerto Rico. Virtually every progressive on Twitter and the mainstream media outlets have all jumped on the bandwagon parroting any one of several narratives, all centered around the following: The Trump Administration is doing nothing, or next to nothing in regards to aid to Puerto Rico. Some have even gone as far as to suggest the response has been minimal due to racism. So before I address a few of these things, lets take a look at what constitutes “nothing”.
1. Over 12,000 Federal personnel on the ground.
2. Over 300,000 Tons of Food, Medical supplies, and Water.
3. Evacuation of Patients and 59 of 68 hospitals functional.
4. Over 40 Million dollars just for Road work.
5. Over 125,000 Gallons of Fuel delivered.
6. FEMA Search and rescue has been in all 78 municipalities.
7. 14 Sea vessels providing food, water, evacuation, and supplies.
8. All 8 airports online.
9. Specialized canine, chainsaw, and rescue units deployed.
10. Waived the Jones Act (opens up shipping lanes)
Now I don’t know about you, but to me that seems pretty far from nothing and the media picture being perpetuated. In addition that’s not even close to the full totals, as that only accounts for FEMA, and not worldwide aid or donations, which will total in the billions once it’s said and done.
Then of course we have the San Juan Mayor, Carmen Cruz. Now, on one hand I totally understand her trying to get the message out on national TV that they need help. I totally get that. If I was mayor of a city ravaged like that I’d be trying to get the word out as well. In addition to that, she’s securing even more massive amounts of aid than she was already going to get. There is definitely a strategy to what she’s doing. There’s a lot more to this story though. She seems to be the lone voice criticizing the Trump Administration in this whole process. Everyone from the Governor to Geraldo Rivera are praising the federal effort. First, we have her clear dislike of Trump from her history and Tweets. Then we have the fact that she has participated in NONE of the FEMA coordination efforts, despite being invited multiple times. Virtually everything she’s doing seems to be for photo ops and getting on TV, and securing more aid by acting like nothing is happening. There’s a photo of her in the back of a truck, not with mountains of supplies, but mountains of reporters. Then, in the very conference she’s accusing Trump of killing them, she’s standing right in front of absolute mountains of supplies. She also managed to talk, not with the head of FEMA, but Senator Elizabeth Warren. In addition, despite having no power or resources for a few days, she somehow managed to get a “We Are Dying” shirt printed up. This is massive hyperbole because very few people have actually died, especially given the massive levels of destruction. Even Geraldo, who has been on the ground from the beginning, called her out to her face that that isn’t happening. Let’s put this in perspective:
Body Count directly after hurricane: 16
Body Count today: 16
Now, any body count is bad, but literally no one has died due to Trump admin ineffectiveness. Here’s what really happened though. An island rife with corruption sucked up billions of dollars, and instead of infrastructure projects and hurricane prevention managed to enrich a few people and waste it all instead of empowering the people and building the country. This is pure cover for the ineptitude of the Puerto Rican officials and local governments. Not only that, but the Economist labeled Puerto Rico “Welfare Island” as their entitlements spiral out of control, and the labor participation rate is astonishingly low at 61%. Massive government bloat and socialist practices have crushed the island’s economy. Median income is half of the poorest state in the union (Mississippi) yet welfare benefits are the same, thus de-incentivizing working. Also, we are still dealing with the crisis left from Harvey and Irma. Actually, I’m amazed the federal response has provided what it has, given the resources being poured into the relief efforts from Harvey and Irma. Then on top of all that, there was massive amounts of aid stuck at the dock because local truck drivers haven’t reported for duty. We aren’t seeing the same level of citizen engagement that we saw in the wake of Harvey and Irma. After that, we also heard a rogue Puerto Rican officer’s broadcast accusing the government of not distributing the aid properly.
The democrats and progressives tried really hard to make Harvey and Irma “Trump’s Katrina”. They couldn’t because literally everyone praised the federal response, giving them no ammunition. This time though, the far more difficult logistics and destroyed power grid, coupled with a PR seeking mayor, has provided that ammunition. Every left wing twitter account I look at has been all over this. Keith Olbermann, the left’s resident nut job, actually accused Trump of DELIBERATELY refusing aid because he hates Hispanic people. In addition, Michael Moore and others have actually suggested we resettle the ENTIRE island in swing states to flip the demographics so they can win elections. You see, that’s how democrats operate. If that’s not politicizing a tragedy I don’t know what is. They can’t win on ideas, so they just need to import enough people to tip the scales in their favor. Ana Navarro and Joy Reid have suggested similar practices. Don’t try to convince the actual population that you have the right plan and ideas, replace them with people that will block vote democrat. It’s really easy to offer free money, college, and healthcare to a poor population and get them to block vote for you. The disdain that progressives show for actual citizens amazes me every day.
By the time this is done, which will be years from now, given the state of devastation in Puerto Rico, the federal aid will easily be in the billions. We might even arrive at that number fairly soon. By taking shots at the Trump Administration, and the federal response they are indirectly taking shots at all the first responders, and the tax payers that are going to be fueling Puerto Rico for years. The officials are also milking the system, knowing good and well they were in big trouble before the hurricane, so why not push the government to get maximum aid to rebuild their horrible infrastructure? None of this is the fault of the Puerto Rican people. This a problem the government, both federal and state, created.
Welcome to the results of socialism.
Steve is the author of Forging the Iron Mind, and is the founder and CEO of Americana Prime.