Certain things are unfathomable to me.
About a week ago, four Green Berets were killed in Niger. To this day, Trump has not even mentioned their deaths! When their bodies were returned to the U.S., he didn't go meet them. It should be noted that an investigation three days later revealed that four Green Berets were killed in an attack by ISIS, which is likely an embarrassment to Trump. However, given how much he absolutely loves to find a way to demonize ISIS into pretty much every conversation where he can fit in, one would think that this would give him a good opportunity. But after all this time...not a single word about their deaths. All from a so-called guy who has been on a rampage about respecting the flag to honor those soldiers who died for it.
And after days of wildfires raging in Northern California, with (at the time of writing this) 23 people confirmed dead, over 500 missing, 25,000 have been forced to evacuate in just Sonoma County, over 50,000 people still away from their homes in Yuba and Nevada counties -- Trump has not mentioned any of this! Not even that there is are all these horrific wildfires in the United States. Nothing, not a single word.
When there were over 70 wildfires burning throughout the entire Pacific Northwest three weeks ago, causing devastating damage across 280,000 acres in Oregon, Washington, Montana and Idaho, Trump didn't mention any of that either. Nothing. To this day. Not a single word. Just to be clear,.that was eight percent of the states in the United States. And he was totally silent.
This is all unfathomable to me.
I can't blame it on "That's just Trump." Because that makes it understandable, and it's not. Giving it a dismissive reason normalizes it. And there's nothing normal about any of that -- let alone all of it.
Total silence. While at the same time, tweeting his little fingers off about football players kneeling. And this is nothing to do with his base. Idaho and Montana are his base. Supporting the military is supposedly his based. And ultimately, America is his obligation.
And all this is separate from his disdain of the American territory of Puerto Rico. The latest news there is on the edge of crashing through the ceiling. The "good news" of only 16 deaths when he popped-in there a week ago is now up to 48 confirmed dead. And that's just the bodies that they're able to locate and identify. One NPR story has 49 additional people who are dead but not on the official list yet. Another news story from Vox has an additional 450 reported deaths there, though from causes unknown, however with 69 people beyond that missing.
And even that isn't what is on the verge of crashing. It's that the first four known deaths caused by Leptospirosis were just reported. This comes from a waterborne bacteria, which is occurring because 30% of the island is without water, so people are drinking from rivers and streams which have risk of contamination from the storm and from other unfiltered sources. It's an easily treatable disease, but the medication needed is not getting through. And so as more people continue to go without water, the numbers will likely rise.
Hurricane Maria stopped a couple weeks ago, but the utter devastation is not only still there, we're now at the point where the collapse is coming to fruition. This is what a humanitarian crisis is.
And Trump's interest has seemingly moved on.
It's unfathomable to me. One can toss in all the adjectives to describe him, but when it comes to this -- this ongoing, total silence and disinterest in massive human suffering -- those names are rendered meaningless.
And then there's everything else.
The bizarre thing is that for all his silence, the one time yesterday he should have been silent -- he actually yammered and joked through it. During his interview with Sean Hannity for "Fox News" held at an Air National Guard base, "Retreat" began to be played. The military tradition is that during "Retreat," you stand silently. Yet there were Trump and Hannity remaining seated through it all and quipping about if that music was being played to honor one of them or the other. Yes, it's incredibly minor compared to all the other matters of total silence. But the head-numbing hypocrisy is too hard to overlook, given that all this clueless contempt comes from the same guy who's been trying to denigrate football players for not respecting the flag that honors our soldiers who gave their lives.
But yes, that's minor compared to his total silence on the deaths of the four Green Berets, the wildfire disaster in Northern California, and the 70 fires destroying the Pacific Northwest, along with the growing catastrophe in Puerto Rico that has left his personal radar.
And how bad is that inexplicable, unfathomable silence? I've got to wrap it all up now and didn't even get a chance to write all about Trump's quote yesterday lamenting the First Amendment.
"It is frankly disgusting the press is able to write whatever it wants."
Oddly, sometimes I almost feel exactly the same about the current president.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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