If President Donald Trump had even trace amounts of empathy in his wobbly pancake body, he might view homelessness as a moral stain on our society, and vow to address the fact that there are people without a place to live as an urgent human rights issue.
Instead, speaking amid a series of hush-hush campaign fundraisers in California, Trump pinpointed the real victims in that state’s growing homelessness epidemic: buildings. Specifically their entranceways, which are the “best,” according to the president.
“We have people living in our ... best highways, our best streets, our best entrances to buildings,” Trump reportedly told journalists aboard Air Force One on Thursday between fundraising stops.
“Where people in those buildings pay tremendous taxes,” Trump continued. “Where they went to those locations because of the prestige.”
Yes, please shed a tear for those prestigious buildings, and highways, and streets, which are really what’s important here.
“In many cases, they came from other countries and they moved to Los Angeles or they moved to San Francisco because of the prestige of the city, and all of a sudden they have tents,” Trump rambled on. “Hundreds and hundreds of tents and people living at the entrance to their office building. And they want to leave. And the people of San Francisco are fed up, and the people of Los Angeles are fed up.”
Last week the Washington Post reported that Trump, who has been using California’s homeless population as a cudgel to attack the reliably blue state, was considering sending the federal government into cities like LA and San Francisco and “relocating” homeless people into a former Federal Aviation Administration building. Although, as one administration official cautioned: “We’re not rounding people up or anything yet. You guys in the media get too ahead of yourselves.”
Whew, they’re not rounding people up...yet.
Speaking at a rally in August, Trump lamented what the homeless population was “doing to our beautiful California,” calling it a “disgrace” and saying, “It’s a shame. The world is looking at it.”
It’s true that homelessness is a huge, systemic problem which needs to be addressed by all levels of government working together. What it doesn’t need is a man who lives in a golden tower, who made his fortune refusing to rent property to people of color, whining about how human beings are making inanimate chunks of infrastructure and architecture look bad.