Trump loves nothing more than the sound of his own voice. His rallies have become infamous. Falsehoods, repetition and baseless allegations of voter fraud, and continuous efforts to spread anger and hatred intended to divide our nation’s people compose the script for every costly and destructive event without purpose other than soothing the ego of an old, obese, malignant narcissist.
Trump is right about one thing: you love him or you hate him. More precisely, you support the end of democracy and the establishment of fascism, or you love your country. There is no other realistic position. They cannot accurately be called “campaign rallies,” no one attends these sad and pitiful events unless they already support the worst former president in American history.
These events are destructive to our nation’s future with the spread of hatred and inciting violence, but have you ever asked, “what do they cost, and who pays for them?”
First of all, Trump has a history of refusing to pay his bills. His lawyers were forced to appear in court hundreds of times and face lawsuits from various contractors. Therefore, it is obvious that Trump is not paying for the costs of these cult gatherings.
Many of his personal expenses, including travel, lodging, fast food, and other necessities come from campaign contributions, although as I write this, he has not declared his candidacy for 2024. What about the cost of renting a venue, street closings, and security including crowd control?
Prior to Trump’s pandemic, some cities in red states did not require payment for extra security. However, Covid-19 left these cities in financial ruin, and Trump is now being billed for all related costs. Several cities claim that he is refusing to repay his debts.
Last December, Trump went to Battle Creek, Michigan. This was one of the least costly rallies, many others were nearly double the expense. The final cost to the city totaled $126,000. His campaign was billed for the expense, but there is no confirmation or denial that he paid his bill. Fourteen other states report that he continues to owe them $1.86 million.
While he was your illegitimate president, you and I paid a large percentage of the funding for his hate rallies. Operating Air Force One costs a minimum of $200,000 per hour. We still pay some of the expenses. As a former president, he continues to have secret service protection.
I continue to condemn Congress for allowing him to hold his rallies while in office. They served no other purpose than to soothe the man-child’s fragile ego. These events were not related to his job as our president, they were personal expenses, and the treasury should have been reimbursed.
“The truth lives here,” and I remain angry that Trump was allowed to waste taxpayer money, violate the Constitution, and create the current division within our nation’s people. By definition, he never was the President of the United States. He used his position for personal gain and to amass power. And congress let him get away with everything.
We can never have a repeat of our nation’s biggest mistake. Only an American patriot can be allowed to reside in our White House.
Op-ed by James Turnage
Edited by Sheena Robertson
Newsweek: Citing Costs, Memphis Officials Hesitant to Provide Escort for Donald Trump
Battlecreek Enquire: Trump rally cost approximately $126,000 in total, city officials say
Images Courtesy of Gage Skidmore’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License