There’s more you can do to help Louisiana than complain about who visits

We are now in the second week of Louisiana’s historic flooding. More than a dozen people have died. Almost one-third of the state’s parishes are underwater. And some 60,000 homes are damaged.

And yet, the story of the day on Tuesday was not about the destruction, the displaced or the recovery efforts — but about the timeliness of President Obama’s visit to tour the wreckage.

Gotta love American politics, right?

Obama, of course, was on his last vacation before gearing up for the final months of his presidency. Many critics — including an editorial from a Louisiana newspaper — expressed their dismay that he didn’t cut his getaway short to pay a visit.

Louisiana flooding2

The critics were barking even though Louisiana’s governor said the federal government has given them everything they need, and despite the overall consensus that FEMA has been doing a good job.

Indeed, Louisiana’s governor, John Bel Edwards, a Democrat, said last week that it would be more pragmatic for Obama and any other major politician to visit weeks after the flooding, so as not to distract from the recovery efforts. The next day after that warning, of course, Trump visited.

Although, it’s unfair to completely dismiss the criticism of Obama when the same thing transpired 11 years ago, when George W. Bush was president, and he was “slow” to visit the state following Hurricane Katrina.

The only difference is that FEMA’s response to that disaster was calamitous. Obama Louisiana

Nonetheless, the politicizing of natural disasters is just stupid. People’s lives are ruined — some lost — and the best we can do is condemn someone for visiting five days late? Is a president supposed to go in and scoop up all the water himself? (Or herself — just sayin’)

I challenge all the complainers to answer me this — why don’t you go to Louisiana? Why don’t you go and make a difference?

Don’t have the resources or the ability to go? Fine, a local news website has created a resource for how you can help each affected region. The Louisiana government has also created an online database for volunteer opportunities.

This is an opportunity to put our money where our mouths are.

And I know I am being hypocritical. Me criticizing the criticism is, in a sense, distracting from the real issues at hand. But somebody has to pour some sense into this lunacy.

Heck, why is only Obama blamed for a belated visit?

Why don’t we get mad at Kanye for not going? Where’s Taylor Swift at?

And shouldn’t Justin Beiber at least tweet about it? He has more than 86 million followers! He honestly has the ability to raise more awareness than anybody else in the world. He wouldn’t even need to elaborate. Just a simple tweet reading “Louisiana” would become an instant trending topic.

You can pretty much just start writing “Loui” on your phone and it will autofinish to Louisiana. You don’t even need to spell it right.

You all blame Obama. I blame Beiber.

Come at me.

Oh, and donate to the links above.

No, you are not braver than this Louisiana first responder

Every one has illusions of one day playing the role of the hero.

I bet most people even remember the time when they exhibited the most bravery. Like when you stood up to a bully on behalf of your schoolmate who was being picked on. Or when you intervened in a potential fistfight to save your friend.

Perhaps you even like to talk about that one time you swerved out of the way in your car to avoid hitting a squirrel.

And while these little moments of valor may be points of pride for you to bring up during casual conversation, they still pale in comparison to everyone’s ultimate fantasy of actually doing something really heroic. I mean superhero heroic.

Saving a life. Rescuing someone from imminent death.

Seeing someone in trouble, or being wronged, and stepping in to save them with little regard to your own personal safety. Because that is real courage.

Louisiana flooding

To be fair, very few of us are even presented with such an opportunity. And the only time we ever witness such heroism is on a movie screen. So when you picture someone performing ultimate acts of bravery, we don’t envision the average person on the street, but rather, a comic book hero.

But thankfully, there are people out there who remind us that heroes can be played not just by Iron Man or Captain America, but by those average people on the street.

As you read this, Louisiana is in a state of emergency. Heavy rain has caused historic flooding throughout the region. At least six people are dead, with that number expected to rise. Ten of thousands have been evacuated.

Images in recent days show people walking in water up to their hips. Cars are almost completely submerged. Trees have toppled houses. People can only travel from place to place by boat.

But amid the havoc, there have been videos surfacing on social media of heroic rescue efforts.

Like this one.

A small boat approaches a car that is seconds away from sinking. One of the three men on Louisiana rescue2the boat jumps into the water, rips open part of the roof, and pulls out a women right before the car disappears entirely. And just when you think you’ve seen it all, the man reaches back into the water seconds later, and pulls out a small white dog.

Screw Bat Man and Thor. Forget Black Widow and whoever the hell the superhero is that Jeremy Renner plays in the Avengers.

This man — whose name we may never even know — is a superhero.

It makes that time you swerved to avoid a squirrel seem pretty meaningless in comparison, doesn’t it?

The situation in Louisiana is obviously very bad. But it makes you feel just a teensy bit better knowing there are people around who will unflinchingly throw themselves into the murky abyss to save somebody else.

Take it from this guy. Just because you’re not paid millions to walk around in a cape on a movie set doesn’t mean you don’t have what it takes to be a hero.