20 June 2017

Trump's coal fantasy

Esquire has an article by Jack Holmes about crushing the President's coal fetish:

One of the hallmarks of Donald Trump's Electric Kool-Aid Acid Campaign was his embrace of coal as the fuel of the future. This was a punch in the face for the planet from an environmental standpoint, but it was also, as John Oliver reminded us last night, some astonishingly bad economics.
The coal industry was hindered by tightening environmental regulations like the Clean Power Plan, but old-fashioned market forces are vastly more responsible for its steep drop off. There is now a cleaner, cheaper alternative— natural gas— and coal production has been on the decline for decades. Even solar is now beefing up from a financial standpoint. Sun harvesting also employs a lot more people than coal, which provides a bit more than half the jobs that J.C. Penney does. That's also because the coal industry is increasingly automated.
This gets to the heart of Trumpism's real appeal: a kind of nostalgia that becomes toxic when it usurps forward-thinking policies with outdated ones. Coal miner jobs are high-paying— upwards of $80,000-a-year— but they exist in an energy industry that is fading away. While coal mining is also a way of life (albeit a dangerous one that poses severe long-term health risks), the economy and the environment simply cannot support it any longer. Workers should be retrained for jobs in the twenty-first century, which has already begun, even if it's challenging. Other industries— particularly green energy— haven't yet moved into areas where coal mining is prevalent. That's something we all need to grapple with. And besides, you don't have to go all that far back to see how Trump really feels about coal miners. In a 1990 Playboy interview, he basically said they were schmucks:
Bookended by ads for Trojan condoms and Malibu Ultra Light cigarettes, the lengthy interview in Playboy magazine is a remarkably prophetic document. Twenty-six years ago this month, Donald J. Trump sat down with Glenn Plaskin, a celebrity columnist, and, over a glass of chilled Coke, offered a grievance-filled economic agenda, a searing denunciation of weak-kneed American leadership, and a keen understanding of his appeal to blue-collar Americans that uncannily resembled the White House campaign he is waging today, without Twitter, which didn’t yet exist.
A glossy time capsule, the interview is testament to consistency, stubbornness or stuntedness, depending on your view.
Below are excerpts from the original interview, along with an analysis of how they stack up against his 2016 message:
On which Americans would support a hypothetical Trump bid for the White House:
1990 “The working guy would elect me. He likes me. When I walk down the street, those cabbies start yelling out their windows.”
2016 The working guy is electing him, state after state, as he marches to the Republican nomination.
On the aspirational power of his ostentatious wealth— the yacht, towers, and planes:
1990 “Props for the show. ... The show is Trump, and it’s sold-out performances everywhere. I’ve had fun doing it and will continue to have fun, and I think most people enjoy it.”
2016 Now they are props for his campaign, signifying his financial success and voters’ desire to replicate it. Mr. Trump’s gold-plated 757 is a fixation of cable news, its landings and takeoffs chronicled live. And in Iowa, the real estate mogul offered free rides to children aboard his $7 million helicopter.
On allies taking advantage of America’s generosity:
1990: “We Americans are laughed at around the world for losing a hundred and fifty billion dollars, year after year, for defending wealthy nations for nothing, nations that would be wiped out in about fifteen minutes if weren’t for us. Our ‘allies’ are making billions screwing us.”
2016: He makes precisely the same argument today, wondering why the United States adheres to costly “one-sided” defense agreements with nations like Japan and South Korea, and suggesting that they develop their own nuclear capabilities so America need not rush to their aid.
A page from the Playboy interview with Trump:
On whom he would trust to carry out his vision in government:
1990 “I think if we had people from the business community — the Carl Icahns, the Ross Perots— negotiating some of our foreign policy, we’d have respect around the world.”
2016 On this, Trump is strikingly consistent, right down to his mention of Icahn, a billionaire corporate raider, as an archetypal negotiator. Trump still names him as a future member of his cabinet.
On the lameness of previous presidents:
1990 “We’re still suffering from a loss of respect that goes back to the Carter administration, when helicopters were crashing into one another in Iran. That was Carter’s emblem. There he was, being carried off from a race, needing oxygen. I don’t want my president to be carried off a racecourse. I don’t want my president landing on Austrian soil and falling down the stairs of his airplane. Some of our presidents have been incredible jerk-offs. We need to be tough.”
2016 In only slightly more polite terms, Trump makes the same case now: American leaders are “stupid” and “weak” (if better oxygenated), and the country desperately needs his no-nonsense, bruising style. A favorite line on the stump still echoes from 1990: “We gotta be tough.”
On his lust for the counterpunch:
1990 “When somebody tries to sucker-punch me, when they’re after my ass, I push back a hell of a lot harder than I was pushed in the first place. If somebody tries to push me around, he’s going to pay a price. Those people don’t come back for seconds. I don’t like being pushed around or taken advantage of.”
2016 This presciently summarized Trump’s debate style throughout the 2016 campaign: Criticize me and I will pulverize you. Just ask “low-energy” Jeb Bush, Little Marco (better known as Senator Marco Rubio of Florida) and Lyin' Ted (Senator Ted Cruz of Texas), whose attempts to mock Trump drew his unyielding wrath.
On the loyalty he shows to staff members, and they to him:
1990: “I have had the same people working for me for years. Rarely does anybody leave me.”
2016: That boast applies this year, to Trump’s peril, in the case of his campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, who has been charged with battery in Jupiter, Florida, accused of grabbing a reporter at a rally. Trump, saying he does not “discard people,” is standing by Lewandowski.
On what it would take to make him run for president:
1990: “I don’t want to be president. I’m a hundred percent sure. I’d change my mind only if I saw this country continue to go down the tubes.”
2016: Apparently, it did.
Rico says no, it's Trump that's a schmuck...

No comments:


Casino Deposit Bonus