Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Americans, Not America

If they have none, they really need to get an editor at Huffington Post.

Rebecca Shapiro properly highlighted Seth Meyers' brilliant takedown of three of Donald Trump's tweets:

Texas & Florida are doing great but Puerto Rico, which was already suffering from broken infrastructure & massive debt, is in deep trouble..

...It's old electrical grid, which was in terrible shape, was devastated. Much of the Island was destroyed, with billions of dollars....

...owed to Wall Street and the banks which, sadly, must be dealt with. Food, water and medical are top priorities - and doing well. 

Aside from recalling that Trump as candidate railed against Wall Street (or at least appeared to), Meyers compared the President's criticism of Puerto Rico as akin to someone who would "start a eulogy by saying 'well, the guy never exercised.'"

Meyers quipped "what are you, some kind of sh_ _ _ _ landlord? Oh, right, you were a sh_ _ _ _ landlord."

And as Shapiro noted, Meyers did state "You wanted to make America great again, so I'll say it again Puerto Rico is America." He added

They're included in the whole 'Make America Great Again' thing. And hey, Puerto Ricans are Americans. They use American currency and carry American passports. There's an Applebees in San Juan tha Americans go to to get disappointed by American food.

Unfortunately, Shapiro wrote "The late-night host went on to remind Trump that Puerto Rico is part of America."

Uh, no, it's not. Her first clue should have been that the island did not give its three or four electoral votes on November 8 to Trump or to Hillary Clinton or to anyone. That is because it does not have electoral votes because it is not part of America, though its residents are Americans. Wikipedia explains

The current political status of Puerto Rico is the result of various political activities within both the United States and Puerto Rican governments. Politically, Puerto Rico is an unincorporated territory of the United States, which according to the U.S. Supreme Court's Insular Cases is "a territory appurtenant and belonging to the United States, but not a part of the United States within the revenue clauses of the Constitution."

Internationally, the people of Puerto Rico are often considered to be a Caribbean nation with their own national identity

I hate to criticize a Huffington Post contributor, possibly unpaid, while heralding a millionaire late-night talk show host. And Meyers did muddy the waters by saying "Puerto Rico is America," less likely a mistake than a rhetorical device to emphasize the responsibility of the American government toward the island. Trump is not only a bad landlord; he's a bad absentee landlord.

But this stuff matters. President Trump probably would have recognized his responsibility and responded more swiftly were Puerto Rico an actual part of the United States of America.  It would have some electoral votes and have at least a modicum of influence in the United States government.Moreover,  the left should not allow itself to be careless with facts in a nation with a President untethered to reality and unbothered by the distinction between fact and fiction,

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