In the aftermath of two disasters, the Alaskan earthquake and the California wildfires, President Trump has released tweets about both of them.
There is no reason for these massive, deadly and costly forest fires in California except that forest management is so poor. Billions of dollars are given each year, with so many lives lost, all because of gross mismanagement of the forests. Remedy now, or no more Fed payments!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 10, 2018
To the Great people of Alaska. You have been hit hard by a “big one.” Please follow the directions of the highly trained professionals who are there to help you. Your Federal Government will spare no expense. God Bless you ALL!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 30, 2018
Everything about these two tweets juxtaposed each other. Their timings were completely different (four hours after for Alaska but two days later for California) and the messages were the opposite as well (promising funding for Alaska but threatening to withhold relief for California). If presidents weren’t supposed to support the entirety of the United States, one may very well think that Mr. Trump is biased toward Alaska. But since presidents have to protect all of the states, there must have been a reason for the contradictory timing and messages. Let’s take a look.
First off, the timing.
Maybe it was outside circumstances that forced Mr. Trump to have such a large difference in time.
During the California fire, President Trump was busy crusading against the rampant election corruption in the United States, whereas in the aftermath of the Alaskan earthquake, he was only meeting with 20 world leaders at the G-20 summit. This difference must be the reason, as this rampant election corruption threatened to cause Mr. Trump’s Republican Party to lose even more seats in Congress, which would have been extremely embarrassing. Thus, Mr. Trump had to direct all of his attention onto that topic until word eventually reached him about the wildfire. To the contrary, the G-20 summit only had topics like the killing of Jamal Khashoggi or the heightening tensions in the Crimean Peninsula, and to what purpose do those topics serve a leader of a world power? Wouldn’t it be much more important then to focus on how the United States is doing? It’s “America first,” after all.
What about the message itself?
Mr. Trump’s negative response to California’s wildfires couldn’t have been about political bias, right? No president would be so guileless as to solely divvy out funds out of petty tribalism (“blue state bad!”).
Surely Alaska’s characteristic of being a red state didn’t play into that decision? So if political leaning didn’t play a role, then why was California threatened to lose federal aid when Alaska was promised a lion’s share?
Could it have been the frequency?
There’s no way that was the case. The Alaskan earthquake was a solitary event (discounting the aftershocks) while another fire will probably flare up in California at any moment. Another fire could even start in the time it takes for this article to be published (approximately three days). Thus, shouldn’t California receive funding for prevention of wildfires? But since it was threatened with a lack of funding, there must be some other cause.
Maybe it was the damage?
Once again, this couldn’t have been the case. The Alaskan earthquake was strong, but the city is almost back to normal already. However, Paradise is still a long way from recovering as the fire scorched just about every house. Therefore, wouldn’t it make sense to offer aid to the more physically damaged state? But since Mr. Trump was refusing aid to California, the damage couldn’t have played a role.
Or possibly did Mr. Trump have a problem with California refusing to implement his strategies for fire prevention? He did tweet twice about his solution to the California wildfires three months earlier.
Governor Jerry Brown must allow the Free Flow of the vast amounts of water coming from the North and foolishly being diverted into the Pacific Ocean. Can be used for fires, farming and everything else. Think of California with plenty of Water – Nice! Fast Federal govt. approvals.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 6, 2018
California wildfires are being magnified & made so much worse by the bad environmental laws which aren’t allowing massive amounts of readily available water to be properly utilized. It is being diverted into the Pacific Ocean. Must also tree clear to stop fire from spreading!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 6, 2018
Mr. Trump’s a genius! Who would have thought that all California needed to do to prevent their wildfires was to stop diverting water into the Pacific Ocean. I mean, water totally isn’t meant to go into the ocean.
Or, for an even simpler, common sense solution, California just needs to cut down more trees so there will be none left for the wildfires to burn. Genius! Mr. Trump is an intellectual titan!
However, three months isn’t a lot of time to implement fire prevention strategies, so it must not have been his annoyance at California’s ignorance of his strategies, correct?
Going through so many logical conclusions, it appears that President Trump didn’t have any logical reason(s) for promising to provide funding to Alaska while ignoring California. Perhaps the only one who knows why is Mr. Trump himself.