Trump Can 'Relate' To Being Deadass Broke Like You Poor Slobs
We're two weeks into this stupid shutdown for Donald Trump's stupid WALL, and federal employees are experiencing a very real financial impact. Folks can't pay their bills, which is a problem if they want heat when it's cold outside or even continued access to an "inside." However, the president isn't totally oblivious to what his innocent hostages are going through. Yesterday, he expressed garbled words of sympathy for them.
"I can relate, and I'm sure that the people that are on the receiving end will make adjustments, they always do, and they'll make adjustments. People understand exactly what's going on. But many of those people that won't be receiving a paycheck, many of those people agree 100 percent with what I'm doing."
This is a lie. A Quinnipiac poll from mid-December showed voters opposing Trump's WALL 54 to 43 percent. That was actually WALL's highest level of support since November of 2016. Sixty-three percent of voters opposed shutting down the government to strong arm funding for WALL. Presumably, this number is even greater among people forced to rummage through their cabinets for ramen to feed their kids.
As for Trump personally "relating" to the situation he's callously created, that is just an absurd statement. Trump has never experienced deprivation. He's never had to live paycheck to paycheck. Even during his half dozen or so bankruptcies, he was only rich person's poor, where you fire a lot of people and sell off casinos. When a young Ivanka pressured her own servants into buying lemonade from her, it wasn't to pay for her own braces or that "sweet sixteen" nose job. Trump thinks bankruptcy is a clever business maneuver. The average Jane or Joe can lose their homes.
The "adjustments" that Trump flippantly refers to involves one parent using sick or vacation time to stay home with their kids because their partner's lack of pay makes it almost impossible to afford child care and stay afloat. Unpaid TSA employees are debating whether to report to work at all -- not to make a statement but for the simple fact that they can't afford to buy gas. It's either a full tank or a full belly. Whatever paranoid fantasies and easily disproven lies the Trump administration puts out about illegal immigration, the shutdown is negatively affecting more Americans more severely.
But, hey, Trump can "relate." It's not like he hasn't sacrificed anything for this country. Brit Hume pointed out yesterday how close Trump regularly comes to dying for our sins. (Commenting rules remain in effect.)
Trump is constitutionally required to accept payment for running the country on Putin's behalf. It is true that Trump has donated most of his salary to various organizations, including the Small Business Administration, but we haven't yet seen his tax returns. It wouldn't surprise me if he's written it all off as a loss.
Hume's point, though, is somewhat lacking. If Trump can really afford to work for
rubles free, how can he possibly "relate" to us mere mortals? Work isn't just a hobby for us, a way to while away the hours between polo matches. It's how we survive. Also, although Trump's personal wealth has decreased somewhat since becoming president, his crime family still attempts to actively profit from the presidency.
Meanwhile, Rebecca Maclean, a furloughed federal employee, said she's "worried every day about how much food [she] has in the house." IRS worker Lorie McCann ruefully laughed when a CNN anchor read the president's "I can relate" comments to her.
McCann: "This is our reality. Our bills have to be paid. We want to do our jobs. As federal employees, we are a dedicated work force and we're hurting."
Maybe Trump can "relate" to just not paying bills when they're due. That is an adjustment he's made many times in the past. Trump's companies "have also been cited for 24 violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act since 2005 for failing to pay overtime or minimum wage." He's stiffed dishwashers, plumbers, and painters. He didn't even pay the creepy little girls who performed at one of his campaign events.
Unfortunately, this type of deadbeat behavior is probably only advisable for the sociopath in chief. Average folks would just have their power shut off and receive heart-shaped eviction notices for Valentine's Day. Trump really has no problem using the pain and suffering of others as political leverage. Not paying him for his cruelty wouldn't make me feel that much better about it even if it were true.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Seattle. However, he's more reliable for food and drink recommendations in Portland, where he spends a lot of time for theatre work. His co-adaptation of "Jitterbug Perfume" by Tom Robbins is playing NOW at Pioneer Square's Cafe Nordo. All Wonketters welcome.