The American people have expressed alarming concerns about the struggling economy, rampant poverty, race relations, and even the poisoning of a whole city’s water supply for years due to government complicity. But what issue did Donald Trump focus on in his victory speech Tuesday night after winning three more primaries?
“Let them eat steak” seemed to be the message conveyed in what many pundits called a Donald Trump infomercial.
The enfant terrible of the 2016 presidential election used a great deal of his lengthy speaking time to tell all of us voting peasants about his line of Trump Steaks and Trump Wine. He even has some bottled water for folks in Flint, Michigan, if they can afford to buy it from him. Oh, let’s not forget Trump’s magazine, some reading material to pass the time.
Marie Antoinette would’ve been so proud. And, of course, offered cake for dessert.
One of the greatest strengths of the Democratic Party this election cycle has been a commitment to focusing on the concerns of real people in this country rather than playing dirty political games and trading schoolyard insults. In the sound-byte heard around the world, Bernie Sanders even stood up for Hillary Clinton in the first debate when she was asked about her ongoing email scandals, infamously exclaiming that “the American people are sick and tired of hearing about your damn emails.”
But even as the Democratic candidates have shown unity in talking about issues that are important to the American people, the GOP and Donald Trump’s candidacy reside in the polar opposite of the spectrum, and in the very worst way.
Trump’s so-called “victory speech,” which he blatantly used as a free commercial for his businesses, shows an utter contempt and disregard for the concerns of the American people, including the very people who have voted for him. While Trump supporters will brush off the criticisms against Trump for his crass opportunism in using his platform to sell more products, will anyone coming out for his rallies realize that Donald Trump doesn’t give a damn about them once he gets their vote?
Trump’s “real,” they often exclaim, but being real doesn’t necessarily make someone smart, much less competent and compassionate enough to be the leader of the free world. Supporters might also note that for someone so real and authentic, the steaks displayed weren’t actually from his company, according to Bloomberg Politics. They reported that the steaks are actually from Bush Brothers Provision Co. in West Palm Beach, Florida, and that Trump Steaks is a defunct company.
“Trump Steaks, where are the steaks? Do we have steaks? We have Trump Steaks.”
We still don’t know where the real Trump steaks are, as the Bush Brothers (how ironic is that company name?) provided the ones on the table, but obviously “steak-gate” is not a major issue to American voters. Yet, it is another illustration of an alarming disdain for the difficulties facing real, working class Americans and a lack of authenticity in many of Trump’s claims.
In the three-ring-circus that is the GOP presidential primary, Donald Trump is the biggest clown, and not because of the crazy hair and orange makeup. But there is nothing even remotely funny about this clown and his performances at political rallies where he exploits hate and fear, and he even encourages violence against protesters. There’s also nothing funny about his threat to this country as someone who will continue to support tax breaks for big business that increase the gap between wealthy and poor, not to mention how the United States will become the laughing stock of the international community if the United States elects Trump as president.
We have a country on the verge of economic, social, environmental meltdown. Yet on Tuesday night, Trump was more interested in showing off his wealth and taunting many Americans with luxury products they can’t even afford. And the sad truth? He’ll likely get away with it, because he’s counting on poor Americans once again to vote against their economic interests because he’s rallied them around the flags of hate, and fear, and xenophobia.
Let’s hope enough Americans see through his fear-mongering and crass commercialism before it’s too late, or the working class will continue to get nothing more than crumbs from the tables of the wealthy.
[Photo by Gerald Herbert/AP]