Q&A of the Day – The Politics of Hurricane Ian & Disaster Relief 

Today’s entry: I agree that "equity" statement sucks, but calling anyone a horrible person after enduring Trump and his vindictiveness to anyone who would dare to speak out about him is BS. Didn't Trump want to withhold relief $$$ to California wildfire survivors? 

@briandmuddradio I see Rubio & Scott voted against Ian aid on Friday. What do you have to say about that one? 

Bottom Line: These are two examples of what’s broken both informationally and politically in our society. It’s also an example of what’s broken with people in our society. These are two notes I’ve received over the past couple of days, and they’re not the only ones with similar sentiment I’ve received. I feel it's worth addressing for two reasons. First, to get the truth out there given that leftist narratives have taken hold and are being spread among ignorant leftists in our society. Second, to point out the very real problems we have in bridging the political divide in this country. It’s beyond me how people can watch the devastation in the wake of Ian and immediately break into political opportunism, but that’s where we are as a society. And it started last Friday when Vice President Kamala Harris stated that aid would be allocated based up equity measures – the quote which brought about the first note today. The full quote - in case you missed it: It is our lowest-income communities and communities of color that are most impacted by these extreme conditions and impacted by issues not of their own making. We have to address this in a way that is about giving resources based on equity, understanding that we fight for equality, but we also need to fight for equity. My first response to the first listener is “but” what? How can you hear that statement, acknowledge how horrible it is as lives are literally on the line right now and default to a but Trump narrative? Seriously, to you and others like you, what the heck is wrong with you? You really care about your political party so much, and loathe the former president so much, that your default position but Trump? I can’t help but to think this is a prime example of Trump Derangement Syndrome. Let's say for a moment Trump did something similar, that would make this extraordinary stance by the Biden Administration in real-time, somehow different? But no, the California Trump-narrative isn’t entirely correct. 

In January of 2019 then President Trump Tweeted: Billions of dollars are sent to the State of California for Forest fires that, with proper Forest Management, would never happen. Unless they get their act together, which is unlikely, I have ordered FEMA to send no more money. It is a disgraceful situation in lives & money! Now, as was the case with many Trump tweets, he suggested something which wasn’t appropriate or advisable, alongside something that was accurate. Notice that he Tweeted unless California gets its act together...he would issue the order – not that he actually had. The then FEMA spokesperson had this to say when questioned: We never got any such directive. That’s evidenced by the fact that work is still being done and we continue to support wildfire survivors across the state. Was it appropriate for the president to suggest he may issue an order he never issued? No, not at all. It’s a quintessential example of why people who lamented Trump tweets did so. While he’s absolutely correct in that California policy banning the removal of even dead trees and related debris has created the opportunity for California’s wildfires to transpire. Even an NBC News investigative report concluded this as their 2020 story Decades of mismanagement led to choked forests – now it’s time to clear them out, fire experts say concluded. After all, fire is what happens naturally for those types of forests to clear and regenerate. So, Trump issued a tweeted an ill-advised vailed threat to the state of California based on accurate and truthful information that California’s policy had led to unnecessary death and destruction. Now, not good, but also not remotely comparable to what the Vice President verbalized publicly.  

Not only was it reprehensible for the Vice President to state that the administration would direct aid based on equity and race, while the death count is still rising in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian, it's so wrong its unconstitutional. The Civil Rights Act doesn’t allow racial discrimination in the use of federal resources. It explicitly prohibits: Discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin. So first, no, sorry, these two situations aren’t comparable. Second, shame on you. As for the second note, this is another misguided attempted political hit job.  

On Friday, there was a vote on a continuing resolution to continue to fund the federal government's losses as the debt ceiling would soon once again be hit. All of Florida’s Republican delegation in Congress either voted against it or didn’t vote on it – Including Florida’s Senators. Because FEMA’s a federal agency, many ran with the political narrative that Florida’s Republicans didn’t support FEMA funding for Ian relief. This is false. First and foremost, even in a partial government shutdown, essential government agencies continue to operate. It’s at the discretion of the President of the United States which government agencies are essential – meaning the only way FEMA wouldn’t have continued its operations, regardless of the result of Friday’s vote – is if they’d been deemed not essential by President Biden. Second, no vote has yet taken place on Ian relief. FEMA has funds allocated for operations generally. That’s what’s currently being used to provide immediate assistance. A separate vote will soon be held to address specific needs for victims of hurricanes in Puerto Rico and Florida once FEMA’s director has offered an assessment of what’s needed to address the emergencies.  

There’s a time and a place for politics. Emergencies are never the time or the place. Unfortunately, as we’re seeing, they’re no longer immune. Regardless of one’s political preferences, its far better to place faith in God as opposed to politicians and political parties. What we see in many aspects of society is what happens as our society continues to move further away from him. 

Each day I feature a listener question sent by one of these methods.  

Email: brianmudd@iheartmedia.com  

Gettr, Parler & Twitter: @brianmuddradio  

iHeartRadio: Use the Talkback feature – the microphone button on our station’s page in the iHeart app.     

Hurrican Sandy relief, Staten Island

Photo: Getty Images

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