The insanity of this past week demonstrates that Donald Trump doesn’t have much interest in leadership, or even much interest in covering up his lack of leadership skills. He simply wants to be the guy in charge – which comes as no surprise to people who knew anything about him before he hosted a reality show. To that end, he’s largely put everything on the back burner in a desperate attempt to save his pointless and expensive border wall, knowing that if his racist base catches on and knows it’s not being built, his 2020 re-election prospects will only get worse.
With the embarrassing ordeal that is #Sharpiegate, it’s easy to forget that Trump’s response to a deadly hurricane will almost certainly be worse than what we’ve seen already, as he takes away the funding needed to respond to natural disasters. Now, he’s thrown Republican senators into the mess as he’s taking away money from military projects in swing states that he needs for re-election – with Arizona and North Carolina being two targets on the list.
In North Carolina, GOP Sen. Thom Tillis, who previously made news when he announced he would veto Trump’s national emergency declaration (and later recanted), is up for re-election – and because of the wall, his state is about to lose $80 million. $40 million of that money was set aside for a new battalion complex and care center at Camp Lejeune, where recruits are already suffering from toxic exposure. Tillis skipped out on the hearing for Camp Lejeune victims back in May to attend a fundraiser with Mike Pence. Another $32.6 million set aside to build a new elementary school at Fort Bragg was also canceled.
In Arizona, Sen. Martha McSally, also up for re-election, willingly allowed the administration to take $30 million from Fort Huachuca to be spent on defense missions, despite her promise to protect military funding. For these two senators, already facing tough re-elections, the way Donald Trump operates cannot be clearer: Demand loyalty, but offer nothing in return. In fact, their states are less safe and less productive because they pledged their loyalty to Trump first.
James Sullivan is the assistant editor of Brain World Magazine and an advocate of science-based policy making