As a climate-change-exacerbated extreme weather event dumps more snow on the lower 48 states than has been seen in nearly 20 years, the state of Texas is reeling as its privatized, deregulated, and long-neglected for-profit power grid collapses under the strain. Millions of people have been left without power and running water for days while at least two dozen people have died. Grocery stores are empty as food shortages mount. It’s a humanitarian disaster on every level and one would expect fast, decisive action by the elected officials of Texas.
After 3.5 days without heat or power in Austin, my kids, husband & I found refuge in a friend's garage apt, where there's heat. We're luckier than many.
The suffering here is immense. Food shortages. Unsafe drinking water. Impassable roads. Flooded homes. A humanitarian crisis.
— Pamela Colloff (@pamelacolloff) February 18, 2021
All of Austin now must boil their water.
And hospitals don’t have water now.
This is total nightmare
— Cristina Tzintzún Ramirez (@cristinafortx) February 18, 2021
Unfortunately, the spineless cowards and conspiracy-brained libertarian freaks which the heavily gerrymandered Lone Star State chooses to represent and lead them are proving to be less than sympathetic, let alone competent.
The governor of Texas, Greg Abbott, put the blame for the crisis on the Green New Deal and renewable energy despite the fact that the Green New Deal has not been passed and almost all of Texas’ energy comes from fossil fuel plants. Former Governor Rick Perry volunteered the people of Texas to suffer and freeze to death just so the state didn’t have to accept any help from the federal government.
But the worst response came from Senator Ted Cruz, who decided the best course of action was to flee to a sunny beach resort in Cancun, Mexico with his family while his voters endured an icy hell.
— ABC7 Eyewitness News (@ABC7) February 18, 2021
While Ted Cruz is well-known for being a monstrously selfish and unfeeling sociopath who will say and do anything he can to further his ambitions, this “let them eat cake” moment is so astonishingly on-the-nose cruel and dismissive it really makes the head spin.
Sadly, it is what we can come to expect from the architects and enablers of the looming ecological apocalypse; the wealthy will board their jets and escape to unaffected areas while ordinary folks are left to drown, burn, starve, freeze, or whatever form of torment a raging Gaia has unleashed on her abusive caretakers.
Social media exploded with fury and mockery at the widely despised Texas Senator:
what you don’t understand is that Ted Cruz has to be somewhere warm to complete his monthly molting
— Brandy Jensen (@BrandyLJensen) February 18, 2021
Aruba, Jamaica, Ted Cruz ain't gonna take ya
Bermuda, Bahama, just freeze or ask Obama
Key Largo, Montego, baby why don't HE go
Oh Ted won't take you down to Cancun, Mexico,
HE'LL GET THERE FAST, you'll have no water flow
That's where Ted wanna go, while you're covered in snow
— Cliff Schecter (@cliffschecter) February 18, 2021
Amazing how the Green New Deal forced Ted Cruz to go to Cancun.
— Jeet Heer (@HeerJeet) February 18, 2021
Over two dozen Texans have died due to the storm – from hypothermia or fire or carbon monoxide poisoning; 2 million others are without power and struggling to stay warm. Meanwhile, Sen. Ted Cruz went to Cancun.
And that’s not even the worst thing he’s done in the last month…
— Shannon Watts (@shannonrwatts) February 18, 2021
Ted Cruz’s Cancun vacation is actually a sacrifice he’s making on behalf of Texas, so the state could have more power and food. https://t.co/wgg4xFpBXT
— Helen Kennedy (@HelenKennedy) February 18, 2021
Ted Cruz greeted by his constituents on his return from Cancun. https://t.co/3SzsWXSwHD
— Charlie Sykes (@SykesCharlie) February 18, 2021
I've spent hours trying to find a place for my dad to stay because his power is out. Then the hotel's power went out.
Meanwhile, Ted Cruz is flying to Cancun and Greg Abbott is on Fox News blaming a bunch of people in other states like @AOC?
Do your damn job! People need help.
— Renato Mariotti (@renato_mariotti) February 18, 2021
Pro tip for Ted Cruz: Next time you want to slink away to Cancun while millions of your constituents are without heat, water and basic necessities, rent a private jet my guy. Last minute usage of frequent flyer miles will get you caught every time.
— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) February 18, 2021
Statement from Director of Communications for Sen. Ted Cruz pic.twitter.com/5cXIkTTZiW
— blaire erskine (@blaireerskine) February 18, 2021
Holy shit Ted Cruz is in Cancun while folks in Texas are freezing to death. This is how the rich and powerful will approach climate change, denying it and running from the deadly fallout.
— Joshua Potash (@JoshuaPotash) February 18, 2021
Ted Cruz flying to Cancun while his constituents freeze to death in Texas pic.twitter.com/zUZGYqrD31
— Nico Correia (@notn1co) February 18, 2021
lmao he got cyberbullied into canceling his vacation https://t.co/NQBNQeCUra
— Jimmy Concepts (@lib_crusher) February 18, 2021
You have investment banker and senator money and you choose to risk your career over a trip where you bring your children with you to CANCUN
— Erin treason mullet Ryan (@morninggloria) February 18, 2021
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Opinion columnist and former editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.