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Monday, June 24, 2024

President Donald Trump’s job of aiding Puerto Rico in recent weeks can be described as pathetic, at best, and his public displays on the issue are nothing less than a disgrace.

The U.S. territory has been pummeled back to back by devastating hurricanes, the most recent of which being Hurricane Maria, which left the island in a state of crisis. This weekend, our commander in chief sat back leisurely at his New Jersey golf club and aggressively posted tweets defending his response efforts and attacking Puerto Rican leadership and the media. In a social media rampage composed of 18 tweets, the president accused Carmen Yulín Cruz, the mayor of San Juan, Puerto Rico, of poor leadership and insisted the people of Puerto Rico were not doing enough to help themselves.

It’s bad enough that rather than working diligently to help his constituents in Puerto Rico, the president took yet another recreational visit to his golf club. What makes his vacation even worse is while he was relaxing and slacking off, he still managed to find the time to publicly attack his own country. His displays made it clear — Trump does not want a united nation, he wants a gaggle of loyal followers.

His attacks on Puerto Rico and its leadership were simply inappropriate. This is a territory he should be leading, not attacking and belittling. We believe Sen. Bernie Sanders said it best in a tweet posted Sunday: “What world does Trump live in where it’s acceptable to attack the mayor of San Juan while he plays golf with his billionaire friends?” We too would love to know the answer to this question.

Self-preserving, immature and frankly embarrassing tweets are nothing new from Trump. Puerto Rican leaders, citizens and supporters asked Trump to do his job, and the media didn’t cut him any slack. We expected nothing less than an outrageous and fervent display from his personal Twitter account. The real problem at hand is that he was doing this while he should have been eagerly doing everything in his power to help Puerto Rico.

We understand the president is not God. We know he does not have magical powers nor does he know of some elusive secret that will fix Puerto Rico with a snap of his fingers. We know the island was devastated and reparations will take time. That being said, we do not expect to see immediate results from restoration efforts. What we do expect to see, however, is our president doing everything humanly possible to restore the ravaged island.

Since Puerto Rico is a U.S. territory and not a recognized state, the island does not have representation in Congress, and they are not entitled to electoral votes during the presidential election. This means that schmoozing Puerto Ricans and keeping them safe and happy has little to no gain for the president. Trump cares about one thing and one thing only — himself — and he wants to preserve his reign and gain more supporters in order to do so.

Puerto Ricans can’t vote for him, so why would he care about them? While his efforts in Texas after Hurricane Harvey were not much more impressive than his efforts in Puerto Rico, he didn’t attack their leadership and people via Twitter.

His social media displays and lack of committed action have made it clear he does not care about having a united America. He claims to want a better America, a “great” America. It seems to us what he really wants is an America that worships him and him alone.

He has relentlessly pitted liberals and conservatives against each other and done everything in his power to further divide our nation, paying attention only to those who are likely to re-elect him. Trump, we beg of you, start doing your job, and please start serving all of your people, not only those you see as potential supporters.

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