No one deserves to endure a natural disaster…not even Republicans

Written By Jordyn Hronec, Editor-in-Chief

It has become a trend amongst left-leaning people online to completely disregard “red states.” And if you are unsure of what a “red state” is, you are living a blissful, privileged existence of not engaging in politics. A “red state” is a state where the majority of the population typically votes for Republican representatives.

That’s an oversimplification, though. In a lot of places, it’s incredibly difficult to tell which party truly has a majority because of a practice known as gerrymandering, where the lines of voting districts have been drawn in order to favor one party over another. 

So let’s talk about Texas. 

If you are unaware, Texas has been experiencing dangerously low temperatures and major snowstorms. And, like in many cases, the internet’s first instinct was to laugh because Texas isn’t exactly known for its winter weather. Folks from the states up north were cracking jokes about Texans’ inability to cope with the cold and the snow. 

And it’s true. Texas is not equipped, from an infrastructure standpoint, to deal with these conditions. For a lot of citizens, this has spelled disaster in the form of power outages, leaving them without electricity, heat, or water.

This has spurred a lot of online discourse, particularly around Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz’s decision to fly to Cancun instead of working to help his own constituents. This catastrophe was caused by the Republican Party, the party-in-power in Texas, which failed to improve upon the infrastructure of the state. Some of the current crisis was due to the far-right party members’ tendencies to dismiss the seriousness of climate change, to which many attribute this recent natural disaster.

But a lot of the discourse has been incredibly insensitive, blaming all of Texas for voting for Republican lawmakers who have failed to do their jobs in a time of crisis. 

Enter Marcus DiPaola, a former White House reporter, widely known as the “TikTok Journalist.” On TikTok, DiPaola provides daily updates on pertinent news happenings to his audience. His introduction to the platform filled a previously open niche, and he was pretty well-loved and received.

Recently though, DiPaola decided to share his opinion. This is often a controversial thing for a journalist to do, as media professionals are widely encouraged to keep all opinions, especially political ones, to themselves so as to not harm their own credibility. But DiPaola exercised his right as an American citizen and shared his opinion about the Texas situation on TikTok. His concluding statement was, “Enjoy the power outages, Texas. You voted for ‘em.”

This statement sparked outrage amongst his viewers, many of whom called upon him to apologize. He has refused to. 

DiPaola’s statement was troubling for several reasons.

As DiPaola has pointed out, he does indeed have a right to share his opinion online, but his professional aspirations are not protected from the consequences this opinion might have. As a journalist, DiPaola is supposed to be a purveyor of truth and upholder of facts. The statement “Enjoy the power outages, Texas. You voted for ‘em” is not based on truth or fact. The fact is, much of Texas, around half at least, did not vote for Republican lawmakers to be in office. DiPaola’s claim that Texas as a whole voted for Republican lawmakers and policies is false. This was proven so as recently as the 2020 presidential election, where the typical Republican stronghold that once was the state of Texas was called into question. The future of Texas’ redness is uncertain, and it is likely to disappear. 

But what if this wasn’t the case? What if Texas was a completely red state and would remain so? Would the citizens of Texas deserve what they’re getting then?

The answer is no. No one deserves to endure a natural disaster. No one deserves to endure the bitter winter cold without heat or running water. No one deserves to be snowed in. Not even Republicans. 

For some, that might be a wild concept to grasp. But I implore you to exercise some compassion and try.