By Regina Jones
With their words and actions, Texas politicians have shown their disregard for the suffering of Texans who have been left to fend for themselves without electricity and stable utilities in historic low winter temperatures and extreme conditions rarely experienced in the state.
The irresponsibility of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), who mismanaged the run-up to the storm and failed to adequately estimate demand, as well as the various power generation companies, who refused to winterize their equipment to prevent catastrophic failure of the system in severe winter temperatures, reveals the capitalist system and its governance as a whole as criminal, seeking only to preserve its profits at the expense of the people. But some Texas politicians have gone above and beyond to mock and downplay the suffering of the people.
Tim Boyd, the mayor of Colorado City, Texas, resigned on Tuesday after being met with outrage following a Facebook post in which he berated his own town’s residents for wanting support and assistance from local government during the winter storm. He posted “only the strong will survive, the weak will perish” and went on to blame “socialist government,” complaining that his constituents are “lazy” and “weak.”
Boyd’s post echoes a common sentiment by city and state officials, though more brash in its form. Aside from the post’s misanthropic and extreme-reactionary nature, there is also a glaring ignorance common among many bourgeois politicians.
Despite Boyd’s resignation, he has continued to receive backlash from Texans. His wife was fired from her position with the local school board due to her husband’s Facebook post.
Former Texas governor and Trump administration energy secretary Rick Perry suggested Texans would prefer to go “without electricity for longer than three days to keep the federal government out of their business.”
Perry’s comment contradicts the clear popular sentiment of Texas residents who have been speaking out, in the streets and on social media, about their distrust and disbelief in the government’s handling of ERCOT’s devious business strategy and calling for state override of ERCOT to cut the power to empty downtown office buildings. Perry was governor of Texas in 2011 when a report on power generating companies and their need to winterize was provided following a major blackout, but the Texas Legislature under Perry intentionally ignored this.
Senator Ted Cruz confirmed he fled to Cancun on vacation Wednesday while millions of Texans have gone for multiple days without electricity in the freezing cold. He has since returned to Houston amid public outcry.
Last fall, when Austin mayor Steve Adler was exposed for recording a message telling people to stay home due to the pandemic while on vacation in Mexico, Cruz was quick to call out Adler’s hypocrisy, but now is drawing the same ire for having appeared on the “Joe Pags Show” earlier this week encouraging people to stay home due to the severe weather.
These politicians all have a common goal despite their theatrical attacks on one another: they all seek to preserve private industry and profit even if it periodically undermines their public appeal.
Tribune encourages our readers to support revolutionary activists working to serve the people in this capitalist unnatural disaster. Groups such as United Neighborhood Defense Movement have been organizing to meet the needs of people on the ground. Donate here: https://fundrazr.com/f1mA77
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