As much of Texas struggles with widespread power outages, different officials are responding in different ways. Gov. Greg Abbott (R), for example, is pushing ridiculous rhetoric about renewable energy.
But others have adopted an even less constructive approach. The Washington Post reported on developments in Colorado City, Tex., where locals had no power and no running water.
Residents turned to a community Facebook group to ask whether the small town planned to open warming shelters, while others wondered if firefighters could do their job without water. But when Colorado City's mayor chimed in, it was to deliver a less-than-comforting message: The local government had no responsibility to help out its citizens, and only the tough would survive.
Though Tim Boyd's Facebook message has since been deleted, it was a rather extraordinary tirade. Boyd, who was Colorado City's mayor, wrote, "No one owes you [or] your family anything; nor is it the local government's responsibility to support you during trying times like this! Sink or swim it's your choice. The City and County, along with power providers or any other service owes you NOTHING! I'm sick and tired of people looking for a damn handout!"
Boyd said people who lack power and water should simply figure out a way to get power and water on their own, without turning to public departments and agencies that ostensibly exist to meet the public's needs. He offered nothing in way of constructive guidance to struggling families.
"If you are sitting at home in the cold because you have no power and are sitting there waiting for someone to come rescue you because your lazy is direct result of your raising," Boyd wrote, without regard for grammar. "Only the strong will survive and the weak will parish."
I assume he meant the weak will perish.
In case that weren't quite enough, Boyd's online rant added those looking for assistance during a crisis are "sadly a product of a socialist government."
The mayor, not surprisingly, has resigned, though it's not entirely clear when. Boyd, who was still listed as mayor on Colorado City's website earlier this morning, told local media that he'd already quit before publishing his Facebook message. The Dallas Morning News added, "It was unclear when exactly he had resigned; a City Council agenda posted on the city's website showed that he was scheduled to lead last week's meeting."
It is curious why someone would volunteer to seek public office and lead local government, only to tell his constituents during a crisis that only the "lazy" would look for a "handout" from public officials.
But it was Boyd's reference to "a socialist government" that was perhaps most striking. It seems unlikely the former mayor was trying to make socialism sound appealing, but that may have been the unintended result.