Hurricane Florence and Trump: a complete retread of Maria?


The southern US has been faced with Hurricane Florence, and the destruction that has come with its arrival, flooding homes and in general leaving disaster in its wake. As Presidents normally do in the advent of a disaster affecting a large amount of people, President Donald Trump went on a visit to see the effects of the hurricane for himself, and according to  Brett Kelman’s USA Today article, he immediately faced the disaster the same way he did to Hurricane Maria, (ultimately not supporting Puerto Rico in ways they really need).


While in the Carolinas surveying the damage of Hurricane Florence, President Trump spoke to a citizen live on camera, with the person pointing to their house, being in complete shambles, the president replied by looking over to a yacht that had washed ashore, saying “Is this your boat? At least you got a nice boat out of the deal.” (Kelman)  After hearing this, questions were immediately raised if the President was just trying to be funny, and accidentally sounded insensitive, or was just being plain insensitive to the people’s plight thanks to Hurricane Florence.         


            This adds to the constant argument of whether Donald Trump’s actions and overall demeanor is tolerable in a presidency. Students on campus at Washburn University were asked about these events and their reactions to them, and they most definitely had varying responses.

Paul Enneking, actuarial science major, when asked about Trump and his actions, replied: “If you are on the Republican party, you are going to say that he is trying to make light and be funny. If you are a democrat, you are going to say that he is being insensitive to the victims of the natural disasters”

On the other hand, Nikki Bolinger, a music/math education major had a different opinion: “I think that it shows that he actually has a personality rather than being strict and businesslike. He may not show the best personality, but is better than having someone with none at all.”

            These two opinions are echoed by many. One large group of people will oppose the President no matter what (especially with his polarizing demeanor) and the other will be a dedicated legion of supporters, and Trump’s willingness to be different and not as elegant and fatherly as past presidents has certainly caused an uproar, both positive and negative. In short, his actions can either be seen as him trying to connect with the people, or they can be interpreted as him just lacking common respect for the people of his country.

            And looking forward, with this continuing pattern of President Trump doing something and receiving both enormous backlash and praise, the two students were also asked how they thought Trump’s re-election bid will go in 2020, they both had pretty similar responses:

Paul Enneking stated: “Nobody thought he would actually get elected the first time around, so he will probably have an easier time getting re-elected in 2020. Lots of people actually like a leader who talks on their level, so maybe that will go in his favor.”

And Nikki replied: “I think he has a great chance of being re-elected, unless someone on the democratic side wants to make a big change, the fact that he is different and willing to speak his mind will likely get him re-elected”.

These viewpoints are most definitely interesting. Trump is seen by many as a Populist: a man looking out for specifically the interests of normal people. Maybe his often argued crude speech is a way of going down to an average joe’s level, and making them feel some kind of connection rather than being separated and losing a lot of that connection. There is still the possibility of impeachment with the Mueller investigation going on, but like the saying goes, the wheels of justice are slow.

Overall, President Trump and his entire demeanor is a sharp detour and most definitely in stark contrast from former President Barack Obama’s, and many either like that or hate that. There are many people that truly believe in Trump and his ideals, that appreciate him as a leader and think his attributes are a positive change- not being afraid to speak his mind, and wanting to do something different. But, there are also many that think the President’s actions are entirely inappropriate. His entire administration, coupled with the way he carries himself and the way he acts aren’t going in the right direction after President Obama, and these people will need to vote at every opportunity they can to actually make a difference. Not relying on neighbors to do it, but everyone actually has to vote, either to get Trump out of office, or to keep him there.