After Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico in 2017, Donald Trump went to the island and threw paper towels at the victims.
To say Donald Trump wasn’t prepared for the hurricane would be an understatement. A response wasn’t prepared until after the damage. Supplies, boats, and rescue personnel weren’t organized until after. Trump didn’t even know the people were American citizens, that he was their president, or that Puerto Rico was even an island until afterward.
During the paper towel trip, Trump berated the victims saying, “I hate to tell you, Puerto Rico, but you threw out budget a little out of whack.” He told the victims they didn’t have a real catastrophe because it wasn’t like larger hurricanes that other presidents had to deal with. Afterward, he refused to accept that the death toll is nearly 3,000. He’s lied repeatedly about how much has been appropriated and spent on the recovery. To make matters worse, he engaged in feuds with the politicians of the island, calling them “corrupt.”
As Hurricane Dorian headed for Puerto Rico this week, Trump didn’t just tweet out concern for the citizens who are still recovering from Maria. He complained about having to spend government money on the island with, “Will it ever end?” He told the people that they should be thankful for the help, “not like last time,” and continued his feud with the mayor of San Juan (if you’re a Republican, San Juan is the capital of Puerto Rico), calling her “incompetent.” Then, he tweeted, “And by the way, I’m the best thing that’s ever happened to Puerto Rico!”
Puerto Rico was mostly spared and now Dorian is headed toward Florida. Did Trump start complaining about how much we may have to spend on hurricane relief for the state or start lobbing insults at the governor? Of course not.
Florida is a red state. The governor is a Republican. Trump won Florida and he’ll probably win it again as the state rejected the intelligent and eloquent Andrew Gillum for racist Ron DeSantis in 2018.
Trump praised DeSantis and even canceled a planned trip to Poland. Of course, neither Trump or DeSantis are mentioning that Trump has pulled funds away from FEMA to increase spending on punishing immigrants.
Trump likes to compare himself to President Obama, so let’s do that. When Hurricane Sandy hit New Jersey in 2012, President Obama didn’t complain about how much we’d have to spend on the recovery. He didn’t insult the citizens. He didn’t deny how big the storm was or how much damage was inflicted. He didn’t accuse the governor of having an eating disorder and call him a “fatty, fat, fat, fat.” Obama, like presidents before him, responded in a presidential manner. But maybe there’s something else that will drive Trump to give a presidential response to Dorian hitting Florida.
There’s more to Florida than just electoral votes or a population that’s not entirely made up of brown people. It contains two of his properties. Trump loves his properties. He mentions them every chance he gets. He visits them every chance he gets, spending over a quarter of his time as president at his golf resorts, driving on the green, cheating at golf, crashing weddings, eating chocolate cake, letting guests pose with the nuclear football, etc. Fun, fun. He’s even promoted his properties as president and has proposed his Doral club as the location for the 2020 G7 summit. He’s used the presidency to grift as much cash as he can into his resorts and hotels. It’ll be hard to do that if a hurricane wipes them out.
I’m not wishing for a hurricane to hit Florida. I’m not even hoping for a very precise strike that’ll only hit Mar-a-Lago and Trump Doral. But if it does, I’ll send paper towels.
Then, after sending paper towels, I can say, “I’m the best thing that’s ever happened to Donald Trump.”
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