This past week Texas fell victim to a historic snowstorm that wreaked havoc across the state. This storm cut the power to millions of people and left them in the cold. Families huddled together to brace this severe storm and rolling blackouts. Reports of people dying from carbon monoxide poison because they were running their cars in the garage. While all this is going on Senator Ted Cruz decides it’s time to go on vacation in Cancun and leave his home state to their own devices. Senator Cruz was planning on being in Cancun through the weekend but after being publicly humiliated by his constituents he made the decision to fly back home. Pictures were also circulating on social media of the Cruz’s family poodle left in a heatless house while they were off in Mexico.
While Ted Cruz was abroad in the warm sunlight, AOC raised millions of dollars for the citizens of Texas. Beto O’Rourke also organized thousands of phone calls to elderly individuals to check up on them and announced his team will be going door to door to check up on people. The people in Texas are furious with their senator’s lack of care for their plights. Cruz commented on this, “I started having second thoughts almost the moment I sat down on the plane”. He also says, “But I also have a responsibility that I take very seriously for the state of Texas and frankly, leaving when so many Texans were hurting didn’t feel right and so I changed my return flight and flew back on the first available flight I could take.”
To put into perspective what the people of Texas were going through while Senator Cruz was in Cancun, according to The Hill, 2.7 million households were without heat on Thursday and 12 million people had neither heat or water in sub-zero temperatures. Pipes burst in peoples houses and a viral video on TikTok shows a water pipe that burst and froze completely over someone’s car in a parking garage. Even now, days after the storm, there are still 350,000 people who currently don’t have power. The infrastructure in Texas was not prepared for this type of weather. There are no plows, no road salt, no shovels or snowblowers. No one was ready for this storm and that’s why it was so devastating, but Ted Cruz was ready, ready with a plane ticket out while his citizens were suffering.
A lot of people are saying, “well what could he have done” or “if I could leave I would”. It’s not the fact he went on vacation (even though we are in the middle of a pandemic). It’s the fact that while the citizens of his state were suffering he decided to leave, even though other politicians (AOC, Beto) were raising money and going door to door to check on people. He is a public servant and him leaving while the public is suffering just sets a precedent for other government officials to just leave while the rest of us suffer, and with the constant threat of climate change and environmental disasters, this could start to happen very soon.