Donald J. Trump’s brief visit to Puerto Rico last week cries out for comment. This is an individual who refuses to assume the role that Americans expect of their president.
Instead of comforting the victims of the hurricane that devastated their island, he used the visit to proclaim what a “superb” job he was doing. By his language, one would think that everything was just perfect.
During his remarks, he managed to use his favorite word “great” 10 times, “incredible” seven times and, of course, his second-favorite word “amazing” seven times.
Previously he complained in a Twitter post that the residents “want everything to be done for them when it should be a community effort.”
If all this was not bad enough, he thought it instructive to compare the death total in Puerto Rico to that of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. He asked Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló, “What is your death count as of this moment? Seventeen?”
How ridiculous and insensitive can you get? We have a president who minimizes the value of a single life.
During the visit, I guess for some comic relief, he threw paper towels into the crowd. And to make matters even more surreal, after seeing some solar-powered flashlights, Trump said, “Flashlights, you don’t need ’em anymore.”
Obviously, no one had briefed him (or he chose to conveniently ignore) that 95 percent of the island was without power and electricity.
To sum up his trip, he once again resorted to congratulating himself rather than feeling the pain and misery of our fellow U.S. citizens. This is what he said: “They were so thankful for what we have done. I think it has been a great day. We only heard thank-yous from the people of Puerto Rico.”
This is the person who, while luxuriating at his private golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, accused the mayor of San Juan, Carmen Yulín Cruz, of having “poor leadership ability.” Cruz has Trump’s number. She said, “He was insulting to the people of Puerto Rico. He’s sort of like miscommunication in chief. You don’t go to another place when people are in peril and are suffering and you just kind of hover around in a helicopter without having some kind words to say.”
Trump constantly says the wrong things. He seems totally oblivious to the situation of others. All he ever does is turn everything to himself.
His words and actions embarrass every one of us.
Political analyst and Georgetowner columnist Mark Plotkin is a contributor to the BBC on American politics and a contributor to thehill.com. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.