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Yesterday, when U.S. Senator Ted Cruz claimed he was sorry for leaving Texas for Cancun in the middle of a deadly winter weather crisis, it made me sick, especially when he gave this excuse.

“With school canceled for the week,” Cruz said in a statement, “our girls asked to take a trip with friends. Wanting to be a good dad, I flew down with them last night and am flying back this afternoon.”

Maybe that’s okay if you’re just a guy who happens to live in Texas. But if you’re a Senator in a state where 350,000 people were still without power on the day you left, a state where 20 people had died as of Thursday afternoon, a state where people are struggling to find clean water in an emergency, if you’re a Senator in that state, you don’t leave for the beach.

That’s not good parenting. That’s showing your kid how to be irresponsible, and cowardly, and wrong. And I say that because I’m a parent who’s had to deal with kids who were disappointed about school. COVID closings meant my daughter had to graduate looking at a computer screen and take pictures for a prom she never attended. Shutdowns have my son missing the daily interactions of high school while traveling as far as North Jersey to play basketball with his team.

But we don’t get to run away to Cancun. We have to stay and deal with real life. And real life in Philly is hearing that seven people were shot at Broad and Olney a couple of hours after my son passed through that station.

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