Where politics is personal not partisan

Only Americans Would Politicize a Hurricane

Matt Drudge thinks a hurricane is a left-wing conspiracy. Hillary Clinton ads are evil if they are on the wrong channel. What next?

While some people might be outraged over the fact that Hillary Clinton even thought about running ads on the Weather Channel during coverage of Hurricane Matthew, it seems that politicizing disaster is coming from both sides of the aisle. Matt Drudge ended up with what he might consider unwanted attention over comments that suggested that the evacuation orders for the south east coastal region are just a liberal conspiracy to gin up support for action on climate change.

Drudge/Vox Hurricane Tweet

It should go without saying that on the outrage scale, Hillary running and then pulling ads on the Weather Channel is a non-issue in comparison with suggesting that anyone should ignore evacuation orders during a natural disaster. Drudge should be called on this by all sides, but it’s likely that only people on the left will bother to say much of anything.

And there lies the biggest problem – we have gotten to the point where the vocal fringes on both sides have stooped to the point of making political hay out of a potentially deadly storm. Thankfully, only a relatively small proportion of the American public will be willing to either speak against Hillary or put their own lives in peril to follow the preaching of Drudge.

But, the situation does offer the opportunity to consider the deeper issue involved – the fact that we have reached the point where even weather cannot escape being politicized. If only the solution could be simple and satisfying, like holding up the people who start this nonsense for public ridicule. Unfortunately, it would probably just add fuel to the fire, or they’d just simply relish the attention.

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We really are reaching for the lowest common denominator, and it would be so much better if this was limited to just social media. It isn’t. The Washington Times decided to point out that Hillary had pulled ads from the Weather Channel, instead of just looking on it as a non-starter. It obviously didn’t occur to them that advertising nationwide on television is often like buying channel packages from cable and satellite providers. While it’s possible that someone thought it would be a good idea to put political ads on a channel millions of people would be watching more because of the hurricane, it’s just as likely that it was part of a package deal. And no, it wouldn’t have been a good idea for Hillary’s people to say that, because then the story would have still built some steam. Just getting the ads off that channel should have been sufficient, and shouldn’t have made headlines, but it’s totally important – on the fringe. Everyone else realizes that commercials are there for channel surfing, grabbing snacks, and going to the restroom.

Drudge, on the other hand, offered up a commentary that could actually hurt someone if they choose to believe him. If the left was truly as evil as some would like to make them seem, there wouldn’t have been a word out of them over his statements. But, in spite of the fact that Trump supporters would be the only people who might take Drudge seriously enough to attempt to ride out the storm in an evacuation zone, they still spoke up. At least now we know that Drudge is also wrong if he starts calling the left “evil, soulless creatures with no respect for human life.”

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It would be nice if this was the end of political games over disasters, but part two will happen after the storm has passed. Be prepared for the accusations of infidelity to the party if any Republican governors are seen being nice to Obama. Remember the Chris Christie kerfuffle? No one seems to think about the fact that rebuilding after a disaster is expensive, and usually beyond the means of any given state, if the damage is too great. Everyone – except brilliant billionaires – pays federal taxes, so disaster relief is arguably one of the most direct ways those monies are repaid to taxpayers. Of course it makes sense to say it’s a bad thing for a governor to be nice to the president, if they’re from opposite parties. Maybe not. If we start ignoring the children, maybe they’ll stop playing these childish games.

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Liz Harrison
About Liz Harrison 45 Articles
Political commentator, former campaign operative, media executive, legal and medical writer, literary editor and publisher. Founder at Vigilant Liberty Radio, podcaster and radio talk-show host, and a sexual freedom activist.

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