Puerto Rico Enters the 'Great American Victim Derby'
Seems like everyone's a victim in the USA these days, from college "snowflakes" who can't abide someone with views unlike theirs within miles of their campuses to allegedly assaulted women wearing sexually explicit hats to multi-millionaire football players who are sure there's something wrong but can't always remember what it is (other than Donald Trump). The latest of the many entries in this "Great American Victim Derby" is Puerto Rico -- or at least a significant part of the island's leadership.
Who will win this derby?
It's anybody's guess, but the thing about playing the victim game is that even -- perhaps especially -- when you do win, you're even more likely to continue to be a victim and play some more. Victimhood is self-perpetuating -- a spiritual, emotional, political, and economic rerun out of the movie "Groundhog Day." Every year it's the same thing and nothing changes. Something bad happens and there you go again, drinking from the trough until you pass out like a fraternity boy being hazed for the thousandth time.
Why not try something different for a change -- like taking responsibility?
Are you listening, Puerto Rico?
It's an old story. The island has always hovered on the brink of collapse. Self-sufficiency was an illusion. I remember growing up in New York City in the fifties and the non-stop immigration of Puerto Ricans (I lived on the edge of Spanish Harlem). No one seemed to be going the other way -- to Puerto Rico -- despite its balmy Caribbean climate and gorgeous beaches. Maybe that was part of the problem. If you visit a tropical island, the last thing on your mind is work. You want to kick back and enjoy neverneverland as long as you can. To some extent, it's the same for locals. Dolce far niente is a great lifestyle, if you can hack it -- seemingly stress free. I'm envious. But everything has a price. You look around and things are dissolving . No infrastructure. No nada. Calamity strikes. And there you are asking for a handout again.
I'm not saying we shouldn't help Puerto Rico. We must and should. The situation is dreadful. But this is a learning opportunity for the islanders. They should take it. Blaming Donald Trump is the most reactionary and self-destructive thing they can do. It's victimhood redux. Leave that to the rapacious ideologues at CNN, the New York Times, etc. They'd blame the eruption of the Indonesian volcanoes on Trump, if that were possible -- and even it it weren't.
Despite what global warming fanatics might say, hurricanes are nothing new in Puerto Rico. There were obviously plenty of them from time immemorial, long before the island was even inhabited. If you're living on the island you know that from childhood. Every year brings a hurricane season. For the last decade it was pretty inconsequential, then it went crazy. It's God's lottery.