Hurricanes make men beat their wives to death.

I’m also perfectly happy to put partial blame on the people who are keeping the stores empty, the houses uninhabitable and the streets impassable.

… genuine question, because in my last recent visits to the US this kind of thing didn’t come up…

Over There, when someone who had a restraining order kills their ex, is that viewed as a failure of “the system”? In Spain it is, but maybe the whole Individualism thing means y’all don’t. People are responsible for their actions, but in our concept, society has the duty to prevent damages whenever there is a known risk; it’s part of what makes something a “society” and not just “a strongman, his henchmen and the people they cower”.

Yes, I understand that this is just the Trump administration trying to shift blame away from its own incompetence. But I think it’s worth noting how they chose to do it.

It would have been easy for them to say that they weren’t to blame for spousal abuse because the blame for that goes on the abusers. That would have absolved the administration.

But instead they want to put the blame for spousal abuse on the natural disaster. They want to avoid the blame themselves but they also want to protect the abusers.

I blame the inadequate government response for the terrible conditions people are living in. But I still hold people responsible for their own actions as well. Nobody has to respond to terrible living conditions by beating up their spouse. That’s still a choice they made.

My personal opinion is that it’s generally seen as a failure by the system. I’m basing this on how situations like this are portrayed in popular culture.

I feel it’s part of our Individualism ideal. A movie will show somebody being harassed by a vengeful spouse and then show that the system’s response is inadequate to deal with it. So the victim has to step up and handle their own problem by confronting their abuser and resolving the situation.

It’s part of American culture; the idea that you have to look out for yourself rather than being part of a society that collectively looks out for everyone in the society.

Huh. And here I thought it was football that made men beat their wives.

Charitably, VERY charitably, inelegantly stated. However, there is the choice to say it at all.

Clearly he is trying to downplay the numbers. If my employee were to try to downplay numbers to me, I would want to hear specifics. If you are going to tell me that the total number contained murders hidden in the fog of chaos, I would want to be damn sure that the magnitude was significant enough to warrant even mentioning.

These folks seem to keep forgetting these are US Citizens that died in thousands.

But frankly, I don’t expect that level of integrity from this administration or this party. They are quite fond of relying on “framing narratives”, rather than reporting factual information.

BTW I hope someone will think to commission (or to look up if there are) 30/60/90-day/6-month mortality-rate statistical studies of various other disasters, so that we can see some comparatives.

That’s not a failure by the system, that’s “why have a system at all, I will solve everything by hitting anybody involved.”

I think we should disentangle the tropes that are used in film and television to create narrative tension from what really plays out in U.S. society. Everyone knows that a restraining order doesn’t mean you get your own cop stationed outside your door to keep the person away.

In actual day-to-day life, most people still expect and rely upon the local police to serve a purpose, and in reality, it varies widely, and depends upon the resources of the particular local police (as well as their training, and internal policy), how quickly and adequately they respond to a call about domestic disputes and restraining order violations.

It’s a cliche to talk about “American individualism” meaning that–in daily life–everyone just completely expects the police to be useless, and expects every conflict in their lives to play out as the exciting dramatic conclusion to a suspense narrative, where they have to confront the offender on their own, saving themselves just in the nick of time, only to have the cops show up after the victim has taking care of it by him- or herself.

However, some people do confuse daily life with film and TV narrative tropes–they’re the ones that say, “The only solution for a bad guy with a guy is a good guy with a gun.”

It’s not about hitting people. The ideal is that people should rely on their own efforts rather than expect other people to take care of them.

I’ll grant you that many people push the idea too far. They choose to ignore the support they receive from society and claim that they’re entirely self-made. And many people also use individualism as an excuse for not helping other people.

Society isn’t just based on what happens. Society is based on our collective beliefs. And popular culture has a greater role in forming beliefs than actual events do.

Take your example of guns. How many people have actually seen a gun used to shoot at somebody in real life? But everybody has “seen” a gun used to shoot somebody hundreds, if not thousands, of times in movies and television shows. So our collective opinions about how guns are used is formed far more by what’s on the screen than what happens in real life.

People then turn around and behave based on what they believe is true. So beliefs that arise from fiction then manifest in the real world.