We have this “thing” with Texas. We have better weather, more jobs, more people and far better wine and cheese. They have lower taxes, fewer rules and much, much better barbecue. Their governors come here to steal our jobs, which forces us to invent more of them. Texas is deepest red, California darkest blue.
But when one of us is hurting like Houston is hurting now, sibling menace means nothing. That’s why Gov. Jerry Brown sent our Urban Search and Rescue group – some 330 specialists – as the rain was beginning to fall. It’s why people have been walking in off the streets to drop off checks at non-profits. It’s why emergency workers have already loaded up their trucks and headed east.
Cupertino-based Apple donated $2 million to the Red Cross and San Ramon-based Chevron kicked in $1 million. San Diego-based GoFundMe created a landing page to aggregate Hurricane Harvey donations. Dozens of Red Cross volunteers boarded free Southwest Airlines flights to Texas to help with traumatized and displaced flood victims. Faith-based organizations such as Catholic Charities are already in high gear.
It’s not as if we don’t have our own problems. We’re in the midst of a third heat wave in this long, simmering summer. We’re still recovering incredible rainfall last winter. Some of our forests are burning. But at this moment, in this emergency, Texas is California.
The rest of the nation feels the same. Here’s what editorial writers across the nation were saying about the devastation in Houston:
Chicago Tribune: The images of suffering are horrifying to behold. In central and south Texas, an area the size of Michigan is now a storm-tossed lake. ... It has created human misery on a vast scale. Thirty Texas counties, which together have nearly 7 million residents, already have been declared disaster areas. ... Americans will respond quickly and generously to the catastrophe, sending contributions to groups that minister to those in need – from well-known organizations like the Salvation Army and the Red Cross to local food pantries, diaper banks and shelters.
Los Angeles Times: As they watch the unfolding disaster play out from afar, Americans are sending the victims not just their thoughts and prayers, but also boats, cash and other necessities. ... But Californians also should recognize that we can’t afford to stand on the sidelines. Just as disaster is striking Texas today, one day it could be California – probably will be California – in desperate need of the nation’s succor after a massive earthquake or wildfire. For those folks who won’t give up the fantasy of California’s secession, Texas’ current distress shows us that going it alone is foolhardy. It’s corny but true: We are stronger together.
St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Last week, (President Trump) threatened to shut down the government if funding for a border wall isn’t included in the spending package that Congress must approve by Sept. 30. ... (To restore Houston) cheap immigrant labor is a requirement. Even the conservative Texas Association of Business concedes as much, which is why its members are calling for comprehensive immigration reform, not a wall. Houston is where Trump’s Make America Great Again boasts slam up against hard economic reality. He can choose between an immigration crackdown or a more rapid recovery. He can’t have both.
Washington Post: Floodwaters crept up to the thresholds of homes at one minute; at the next, people were fleeing, knee-deep in muddy pools, surrounded by fire ants and snakes. ... With nothing more than their own courage, good people ventured into the rushing gullies and culverts, risking their lives to save others in the unrelenting rain.