For the past few weeks, I’ve been quietly watching the world go by, sometimes marveling at humanity’s resilience, sometimes shaking my head at our ignorance. Here are just a few of my observations.
Oh, the devastation of Hurricane Harvey! As of five days ago, Harvey’s death toll spanned thirteen Texas counties and totalled 70 lives. We’ve all seen the pictures and video; there’s no point in rehashing the disaster. As in such tragedies, there were heroes, and to put it bluntly, there were also idiots. Among the latter were the heartless people who abandoned their pets. All life is sacred; willingly endangering a life, especially that of a creature who can’t help itself, is sinful. Caring for an animal is a lifelong commitment not to be taken lightly. If your dog or cat, etc. isn’t part of your evacuation plan, they should never have been a part of your life in the first place.
People are petty. Amid the Texas tragedy, President Trump’s critics lashed out at Melania Trump for wearing heels when she boarded the plane from Washington to Texas. Come on, people! Common sense dictated that Mrs. Trump would change into more sensible shoes before landing in Texas, but passionate Trump detractors seized the opportunity to disparage the First Lady. While some criticism of President Trump is justified (“What a crowd! What a turnout!”), apparently rational judgement has given way to pointless nitpicking. Fashion has always been important to our First Lady; that’s not going to change just because she’s in the White House. Get over it, America! What Melania Trump wears is not important. This isn’t Project Runway.
Nor is it the Jerry Springer Show. Why are people jumping all over Ivanka Trump because she calls her father “Daddy”? There is no lurid connotation here unless your mind is in the gutter. Donald Trump is Ivanka’s father, aka “Daddy”. Big deal. Across America, there are millions of adult women who still call their father the same. Again, over-zealous anti-Trump nitpickers are looking for scandal where there is none.
Oh, the devastation of Hurricane Irma! As of this writing, Irma is not yet done wreaking havoc on the Sunshine State, but apparently some Floridians, like some Texans, should be denied the privilege of having a pet. As of September 10th, 2017, fifty dogs in Florida were found abandoned, tethered to trees. Contrast that cruelty with the care displayed by Busch Garden employees, who housed flamingos indoors in Tampa during the storm, or consider the locals in Key West, who gathered up chickens and roosters and drove them to safety. Some people value life and go the extra mile to protect it. Some, again, as in Hurricane Harvey, are just plain stupid.
“Stupid” is synonymous with newscasters fighting savage winds and rain while attempting to report on the hurricanes. One reporter actually received an emergency alert while broadcasting; rather than obey the alert and seek shelter immediately, she reported on the contents and meaning of the alert. How dumb is that? An explanation of “seek shelter immediately” was not required! Viewers will grasp the strength of the storm if the camera records the action through a window just as well as if the newscaster is standing knee-deep in water. Reporters being pelted with rain and wind while advising locals to evacuate for their own safety is a bit of an oxymoron.
My last observation, and this is a big one for me: I am disappointed and angered that people seized the anniversary of 9/11 to dump on Donald Trump. This morning, after President and Mrs. Trump respectfully observed a moment of silence in commemoration of lives lost on 9/11/2001, the internet was abuzz with anti-Trump sentiment. Trump was deemed a hypocrite for comments he made on this day sixteen years ago; Mrs. Trump’s very appropriate attire was deemed a “funeral” outfit; Ivanka was called a “Barbie Doll”. Anybody who jumped on the anti-Trump bandwagon today can’t truly comprehend the day’s meaning. This day is NOT the proper time for political dissension or rampant fashion police. Any and all such behavior disrespects the lives lost on 9/11 and the families the fallen left behind. Are Americans now so divided that we can’t come together in mutual prayer and respect for just a few minutes? Regardless of one’s opinion of Donald Trump’s presidency, he, his wife, and his family were dutiful and reverent today, and all Americans should have been united in spirit. Shame on anybody who doesn’t realize that. Shame on anyone who used 9/11 to a spew political rhetoric of any kind.
Forrest Gump was right. “Stupid is as stupid does.”