When a lie rooted in malignant narcissism makes landfall it sometimes devastates lives. On Thursday Donald Trump let loose a category five lie, specifically, that nearly three thousand people didn’t really perish as a result of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, rather it was a work of fiction concocted by the Democrats in order to injure him politically. “This was done by the Democrats in order to make me look as bad as possible”, Trump tweeted, “when I was successfully raising Billions of Dollars to help rebuild Puerto Rico.”
When a man elected to protect the people in the midst of a tragedy as mammoth as the one wrought by Maria instead demotes their suffering and does deliberate and malicious harm to their sorrow, it’s difficult to quantify his evil. Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rossello wrote simply, “The victims of Puerto Rico, and the people of Puerto Rico in general, do not deserve to be questioned about their pain.”
Trump, of course, is indifferent to their pain. The “billions of dollars” Trump allegedly “raised” is the true fiction here. Exactly how did he “raise” this money? A bake sale? And what exactly has been done with these “billions of dollars” to alleviate their distress? After nearly a year much of the island’s collapsed infrastructure remains collapsed. San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz said, “President Trump does not get it, he will never get it. And unfortunately people will die because of that.”
Meanwhile the Narcissist-in-Chief continues to stand behind his puny efforts in Puerto Rico which he labeled Tuesday as an unsung success. “This is an offensive, hurtful and blatantly false comment from the president,” Senate minority leader Charles Schumer tweeted in response. “Nearly 3,000 of our fellow citizens died in Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria. That is the complete opposite of ‘success’.”
Robert Harrington is an American expat living in Britain. He is a portrait painter.