I remember when Donald Trump was first elected, we heard stories that seemed too awful or hilarious or embarrassing to be true about his business practices, his massive blunders, and most especially his deplorable behavior when it comes to charity money. It was almost like there were too many anecdotes for all of them to be true.
But over the course of three years, we’ve discovered old lawsuits, tales of life-size paintings of himself bought with charity dollars, and even a court order for Trump’s own children to take classes in how to not defraud charities themselves.
I’m not sure, however, that anything could have primed me to find out that during what’s easily the worst crisis in America in the last century, as millions lose their jobs and tens of thousands get sick or die, and as entire industries are redefined as “essential” to our daily life, forcing the workers in those fields — groceries, restaurants, sanitation, and more — to literally risk their lives so that we can get through the coronavirus pandemic, The Most Powerful Man In The World™ would do nothing to personally help.
We’ve seen millionaires and billionaires step up, sure. But we’ve all kind of already come to the conclusion that Trump doesn’t have quite as much money as he claims he does, being millions in debt to Deutsche Bank and others.
Even so, he has assets.
I was listening to public radio the other day and heard a story about an out-of-work chef — he mostly handled conference/hotel cooking, so that work is gone — who started an Instagram account offering to ride his bike to anyone’s house in Tacoma and shout something to them, a message of your choosing, from a long, safe distance. He’s doing it for a dollar a message, and all of the money is being donated. The radio segment ended with the sounds of him shouting to one woman what a great mom she was and singing Happy Birthday at the top of his lungs to another.
Think about that: Delivering hope and happiness and raising money for others at the same time, and this is a man who’s out of a job.
Contrast that with a world leader who has hotels all over the globe and his fingers in every financial pie you can think of, hoarding everything he has for himself and even letting unused and unusable (without donating them) assets go to waste rather than let anyone benefit from his bourgeois holdings for free.
But that’s exactly what I found when I saw a tweet from one of my favorite social media accounts and asked the poster behind it for a source so I could see for myself:
All of the Las Vegas hotels have donated food and rooms for emergency personnel in Las Vegas except for one: The Trump International Hotel Las Vegas. pic.twitter.com/MmyeSR0gnR
— Stone (@stonecold2050) April 8, 2020
Could that actually BE???
Stone replied as well as a few others, and a couple of articles into the research, it turns out it’s not even just Trump’s Las Vegas hotel that’s sitting idle while frontline workers go hungry and unprotected. Even as the president stands at a podium today talking up the charities and workers and the people really doing the hard work of getting America through this disaster, Donald Trump himself, an American citizen of great means, is doing absolutely nothing.
Even as other businesses in every major city he has properties in donate.
Even as nearly every hotel on the strip at least donated their pantries to the food banks.
Even as he kept congratulating the “heroes” of the pandemic for all their heroic deeds.
The governor of the state where the Tacoma Town Crier does his good deeds was right: We don’t need a backup president, we need a starter. We need someone who will give their all, and give from everything they have, and do it now, and do it selflessly.
That’s not this president.
Featured image via screen capture
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