Bless me Father for I have sinned…

puerto_rico_devastation_-_Google_SearchBy David Nelson

Bless me Father for I have sinned. I can’t remember my last confession. They say confession is good for the soul so maybe this post can act as my written document to the almighty.

After a week of putting pen to paper responding to stories of the day I felt I was making a difference. Fortunate to have a voice in broadcast media I get to speak on any number of issues from North Korea, to China, the Federal Reserve, the economy and back again. My bubble burst when I came home last night and found my live-in girlfriend (love of my life) terrified and concerned about not receiving any communication from family in Puerto Rico. The devastating Category 4 storm crushed the island more than a week ago. It was pretty clear even a day after the storm that damage was beyond anything anticipated.

Born in Puerto Rico where much of her family still lives she and family here, along with millions of Americans are praying for the safety of friends and loved ones trapped on the island.

Where was I on what was surely the most important story of the day as our brothers and sisters were facing a humanitarian crisis few of us have seen in our lifetimes.

football_players_kneeling_-_Google_SearchWhat’s even more hurtful to Puerto Ricans living here on the mainland is seeing fellow Americans and a President pre-occupied with the rights of millionaire football and basketball players. The President threw gasoline on the fire while the media fanned the flames as our nation sat glued to their sets watching the charade unfold in city after city.

My sins are echoed by a nation that seems more focused on its partisan division and moral superiority than the needs of fellow Americans who’ve been attacked by Mother Nature. This is their 9/11.

Today, ships are being mobilized, Fema officials deployed, funds being raised and an administration along with its Washington counterpart seem to be gearing up for an all-out effort to help. According to CNN, C17s from Fort Bragg and Fort Stewart along with C130s from Dobbins have left bringing needed communication and logistic assets to the stricken island. Ships are on the way, crews in route and countless Americans are donating money, time and supplies

Unfortunately all of this at least on the surface seems a day late and a dollar short. If its logistics and the fact that it is difficult to get assets to an island, I stand corrected. However whatever the excuse, Americans are in harm’s way and the message we’ve been sending to our Latino neighbors and friends is Football both real and political is more important than you are.

Will Washington use the crisis and position for political advantage? It’s a rhetorical question. Of course it will. Frankly while listening to the President’s press conference Tuesday I could have lived with less self-congratulatory praise focusing on just how good we are doing and a little more action. In a crisis there is no good. Just different stages of bad.

If it’s a question of money hold a joint session of Congress with the President, bring it the floor and 636 hands should go up voting yes.

Its true Puerto Rico’s electric grid was in massive disrepair after years of neglect. The damage to the grid was probably more severe than what we would have experienced on the mainland with the same hurricane force. I’m not sure how much difference that makes to a mother and child waiting on line for water and food.

The challenges of the island are significant. As the President points out power company workers can’t just jump into rigs and trot from one state to the next to help. Supplies and relief efforts will have to be shipped in by boat and air. Never the less, in both politics and public opinion perception is everything and often can mean more than the final outcome.

Putting pen to paper last night was my Jerry Maguire moment and at some point I suspect our nation will have theirs. Until then, the partisan divide will be a drag on our society. Our enemies both foreign and domestic will use it to their advantage pointing only to the underbelly of a society who despite its failings has more in common with each other than not. There’s no money in promoting that message so expect no help. Failure is not an option.

Viva Puerto Rico – La Isla De Encanto