The Nation published an article this week titled “Everyone’s a Socialist After a Natural Disaster,” that declared in its sub-head, “Ted Cruz’s hypocrisy won’t stop government from helping in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, but Texas will be needing help for a long time.”
With just the headline and sub-head, The Nation managed to use the tragedy in Houston to both whack Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and promote socialism. Cruz’s alleged hypocrisy is a reference to the fact the Texas senator voted against a Hurricane Sandy relief package in 2013 — along with a significant number of conservatives who protested the inclusion of unrelated pork-barrel spending in the bill.
Later within the Nation article, author Joan Walsh referenced a Huffington Post interview of Texas Southern University sociologist Robert Bullard, who managed to turn the tragedy into an excuse to attack capitalism and “environmental racism.”
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“They not only have to deal with flooding in their homes, but pollution in water that’s contaminated when water floods refineries and plants,” Bullard told HuffPost. “You’re talking about a perfect storm of pollution, environmental racism, and health risks that are probably not going to be measured and assessed until decades later. The fact is that laissez-faire, unrestrained capitalism and lack of zoning means people with money can put protections up, and people without can’t.”
Many on the Left also jumped at the opportunity to use devastation in Houston as a chance to shill for ideologically motivated climate change policies.
“The USA must rejoin the #ParisAgreement and recognize climate change as our nation’s #1 threat to national security,” tweeted @altNOAA, a Twitter account that bills itself as the “unofficial resistance team” of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
On Wednesday, the Los Angeles Times editorial board declared the hurricane “should be a warning to Trump that climate change is a global threat.”
Even foreign left-wing newspapers have used the suffering in Houston to push the left-wing environmental agenda.
“Yes, Houston, you do have a problem, and — as insensitive as it is seems to bring it up just now — some of it is your own making,” wrote Peter Hannam, the environment editor of The Sydney Morning Herald.
Racism has also been a popular cause to tie to Hurricane Harvey.
Writing in The Intercept on Monday, Naomi Klein declared that “Now is exactly the time to talk about climate change, and all the other systemic injustices — from racial profiling to economic austerity — that turn disasters like Harvey into human catastrophes.”
Klein echoed the words of leftist reporter Kate Aronoff.
“A reminder for the next few days: Hurricane Harvey is not a natural disaster,” Aronoff tweeted last week. “Maybe let’s stop talking about climate impacts like they will happen in some bubble where politics and racism don’t exist,” she wrote in a separate tweet.
But perhaps the most jarring form of politicization following the human tragedy in Houston came in the form of a political cartoon published by Politico, which depicted endangered Texans as anti-government hicks, hypocritical for wanting government assistance.
The incredibly tone-deaf cartoon was widely condemned across social media and in the press, even in other left-leaning publications such as The Washington Post.