The past week has brought crises across our great nation. California is ablaze, with wildfires displacing nearly 100,000 people. Civil unrest over racial disparities in Milwaukee has divided communities, and caused over $3 million dollars in damage just one neighborhood. Overshadowing all these events, however, is the flooding of Louisiana, the worst US disaster since Hurricane Sandy.
Where is our president? Eerily silent, unwilling to cut short his last vacation in Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts.
In 2008, Senator Obama attacked President Bush for his response to the flooding of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina:
When the people of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast extended their hand for help, help was not there. When people looked up from the rooftops, for too long they saw an empty sky. When the winds blew and the flood waters came, we learned for all of our wealth and our power, something wasn’t right with America. We can talk about what happened for a few days in 2005, and we should. We can talk … about a president who only saw the people from a window on an airplane instead of down here on the ground, trying to provide comfort and aid.
Senator Obama was right: a president should offer comfort and aid. However, now that the tables have turned, President Obama has yet to pause his vacation long enough to even issue a press release on any of the current crises.
However, on August 15, President Obama did find time to take a break in order to attend a Hillary Clinton fundraiser at Martha’s Vineyard. Apparently, when donors are paying between $10,000 and $33,400 in order to attend, President Obama can make time.
President Obama’s supporters are quick to point out that, if Obama visited Louisiana personally, his security detail would “divert resources, causing more harm than good.” This is an interesting argument, especially considering that he had no problem traveling to New Jersey a mere two days after Hurricane Sandy hit.
As much as the presidency is about action, it is also about construing feelings and emotion. In times of crisis, our citizens, businesses, and investors react to the tone set by our president. Spikes in patriotism can occur based on the president’s example, as evidenced by the effect presidential speeches have on the stock market.
Americans need to know that the president, and the rest of the nation, is behind them. This is why Donald Trump was so warmly welcomed when he visited Louisiana earlier this week. Crowds greeted him with chants of, “We knew you would be here Mr. Trump!”
President Obama’s inaction has damaged the unity of this country once again. His visit this coming Tuesday is nearly two weeks too late, as even liberal newspapers are admitting.
This is yet again another example of our Commander-in-Chief being out of touch with his nation.