As climate change progresses, you’re going to hear the word “biblical” thrown around a lot more to describe weather. The most recent such example is probably Louisiana, which has seen some of the worst flooding this century.
This is a very human disaster, with thousands of people upended and multitudes dead, injured, or missing.
So of course Trump would turn it into the opportunity for a photo-op.
It was the sort of gaudy tastelessness that we’ve come to expect from Trump — and it was that gaudy, sociopathic disregard for human suffering that President Obama utterly destroyed on Tuesday when his said his visit to the site of intense flooding in Louisiana wasn’t a “photo op.”
“This is not a photo op issue”
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) August 23, 2016
President Obama visited Baton Rouge on Tuesday to tour the devastation, and while there, he explained that his visit wasn’t about a “photo op,” and he urged the public to help the relief effort going forward.
The White House also announced on Tuesday that $120 million in federal assistance has been approved in response to the storms and flooding.
After touring the flood damage in Baton Rogue, Obama told the media that:
“The prayers of the entire nation are with everybody who lost loved ones. We are heartbroken by the loss of life. People’s lives have been upended by this flood.
“You’re not alone on this, even after the TV cameras leave. The whole country is going to continue to support you and help you until we get people back in their homes and lives are rebuilt.
“Sometimes once the flood waters pass, people’s attention spans pass. This is not a one-off; this is not a photo op issue. This is how to make sure that [months from now], people still are getting the help they need. I need all Americans to stay focused on this.”
The media’s rarely been focused on the flooding at all.
This sort of flooding is something we should start to expect now that climate change has probably hit the point where there’s little we can do about it. That doesn’t mean we should continue dumping carbon dioxide into the atmosphere like it’s business as usual, but we need to realize that we’re here because of the very same crowd that President Obama had to defend his Tuesday visit from.
In particular, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and his running mate, Mike Pence. The two of them visited the area on Friday, and Trump tweeted on Tuesday that Obama’s visit was “too little, too late.”
It should be noted that Obama was respecting the wishes of the Louisiana governor, but more to the point, it’s unclear what Obama is supposed to do during a flood or why it’s “too little, too late” to provide federal aid going forward.
And it’s not like Trump knows about helping. He spent most of his time in Louisiana giving interviews. And that was him showing up even after the governor asked him and Clinton both not to, and to donate instead. Clinton listened. Trump didn’t.
Trump did donate eventually — $100,000 to an anti-gay pastor whose house was destroyed.
As a response to Trump’s criticism, Obama said, “I don’t worry too much about politics.”
The man’s a class act. If Trump does win, it’ll be a massive step backwards.
Photo by Ron Sachs-Pool/Getty Images