On August 20, 2016, Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump and his running mate Mike Pence toured the vicinity of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, surveying the damage from the floods that have been persisting since August 12. At a stop in nearby St. Amant, they handed out supplies to the crowd of survivors gathered.
During the visit, Donald Trump took the opportunity to scold President Obama for not cutting short his vacation in Martha’s Vineyard to lend his assistance.
“The President said he doesn’t want to go, he’s trying to get out of a golf game.”
However, according to The Advocate, Louisiana’s largest daily newspaper, Governor John Bel Edwards, a Democrat, expressed that Obama ought to hold off from coming, as a visit from President Obama would require heightened security and road closures, it would drain state resources necessary for responding to the disaster and controlling the damage.
“Quite frankly, that’s not something I want to go through right now. I would just as soon he wait a week or two.”
Governor Edwards was not so enthusiastic about Trump’s visit either. According to a spokesperson on his behalf:
“Donald Trump hasn’t called the governor to inform him of his visit.We welcome him to Louisiana but not for a photo-op. Instead we hope he’ll consider volunteering or making a sizable donation to the Louisiana Flood Relief Fund to help the victims of the storm.”
Nonetheless, Obama, to his credit, announced that he would go to Louisiana on August 23, 2016 to survey the damage and confer with state and local officials about providing federal assistance.
Though the gesture enabled Trump to gain on Democratic rival Hillary Clinton in the polls, much was made about Donald Trump being photographed distributing boxes of Play-Doh. The Twitter crowd was particularly derisive.
— Col. Morris Davis (@ColMorrisDavis) August 21, 2016
Ok, but how much Play-Doh? https://t.co/dGm8Qt0EEK
— Harold Itzkowitz (@HaroldItz) August 21, 2016
Hands out Play-Doh for 1 minute, talks to press, then gone. But hey, you can rebuild w/Play-Doh, if it doesn't rain. pic.twitter.com/EILgeUu5Em
— David Simon (@AoDespair) August 20, 2016
When you're cold, wet, hungry, and homeless nothing says you care like Play-Doh! pic.twitter.com/7wu3EPUidL
— philip harris (@pharris830) August 20, 2016
Louisiana is gonna build a Wall of Play-Doh and Trump is gonna pay for it.
— Lizz Winstead (@lizzwinstead) August 20, 2016
— Resolute Uncle John (@azmoderate) August 20, 2016
Here, kids. Make Gumby and Pokey out of this Play Doh and they'll rebuild your home. pic.twitter.com/LbaPkWuKCp
— Al Giordano (@AlGiordano) August 20, 2016
Though Donald Trump spent far more than 49 seconds in southern Louisiana, contrary to what Mediaite reported, and despite the fact that Governor Edwards was ultimately thankful for the gesture, in light of his Trump Entrepreneur Swindle, his prejudicial attitudes and most of all the workers and tradesmen who have suffered on account of being underpaid and in some cases, stiffed outright, the idea that Donald Trump would have made this trip to the greater Baton Rouge area strictly as an act of goodwill is rather difficult to believe at best. If anything, the digs he made at Obama during the trip indicate that he was trying to one-up the President, his administration and the federal government. It is also at least likely that Trump knew that his voters would see him passing out supplies to people displaced by the floods in Louisiana and would get an idea along the lines of, “Who needs government aid if we have got Donald Trump?”
Besides, it would surprise absolutely nobody if this ostentatious gesture on the Donald’s part was nothing more than a glorified tax deduction.
With that in mind, not only is Donald Trump’s vapid excuse for a perfunctory and convictionless show of compassion a patently unimpressive attempt to gloss over his asshole shenanigans, it’s likely that in the days to come, he will do or say something heinous enough that people who are dismissive of this gesture will be vindicated. Last but not least, high-profile charitable acts do not automatically a good person make. For instance, Nicky Barnes, the heroin kingpin of Harlem, used to give away turkeys to the poor during the holidays, despite the fact that his native neighborhood was destroyed by the drugs he circulated through there and the crime wave that resulted. Despite being notorious for theocratic violence in the name of Islam, the Palestinian jihadist organization Hamas spends between $50 and $70 million U.S. per year on charity. Adolf Hitler, despite being responsible for the slaughter of almost a dozen million people, roughly half of the casualties amounting to two thirds of Europe’s Jews, even ran the Winterhilfswerk, an annual charity drive for the needy that bore the slogan, “Keiner soll hungern! Keiner soll frieren! (None shall starve! None shall freeze!)”
Does this mean that Nicky Barnes, Hamas and the Nazi party, owing to their charity work, should also be considered good people?
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