Yesterday afternoon, the kindergartener role-playing what he wants to be when he grows up (the President) made a speech to the American Farm Bureau Conference in Nashville, held at Gaylord Opryland. In the speech, he addressed several concerns of farmers such as Crop Insurance and proceeded to kiss the behinds of his base. It was largely uneventful, so I’ll address the highlights.
Several of Trump’s statements were wrong or racially tone deaf, which is banal for him and not that newsworthy. Toward the beginning of his speech, he claimed: “Our nation was founded by farmers. Our independence was won by farmers. Our continent was tamed by farmers–so true.”
This statement is not true. Before the 1550s, America didn’t necessarily have an untamed wilderness as we’ve constructed it. Native Americans burned large portions of the land for ease of access and crop regeneration, resulting in a very tamed and passable landscape with agriculture and trade routes dating back hundreds if not thousands of years. The colonizers were white land cultivators, though, so “our” farmers really tamed it, you see. If you’re interested in the myth of pre-Colonization wilderness, check out BackStory’s podcast on the American imagined “wilderness.” They lay out some really cool ecological ideas which, in the wake of the California wildfires, matter because our current untouched forests are landscapes our continent has never seen.
Trump then said, “African American unemployment is the lowest it’s ever been in the history of our records.” Do I even need to correct this for you? Is this motherfucker forgetting the three-hundred-plus years of forced labor under slavery? Is he forgetting Jim Crow? I’m not even going there. This statement was dumb.
“Oh, are you happy you voted for me. You are so lucky I gave you that privilege.”
After jacking himself off for giving farmers this “privilege,” Trump proceeded to get to the juicy policy stuff. I’m not sure if he was reading off a teleprompter or had an earpiece, but his statement on rural broadband was fine. He said:
“We’re also moving swiftly to bring hope and prosperity to struggling rural communities. Last April, I commissioned a task force to meet with farmers and local communities to find the greatest barriers to rural prosperity. Today, this task force is releasing its final report, and I am taking action, right at that beautiful table, right out of the hills of Tennessee, right there, I’m going to be signing two very important bills. The task force heard from farmers that broadband internet access is an issue, a vital concern to their communities and businesses. Is that a correct statement?”
After making this statement, Trump held up his small left hand. His thumb and index finger in a circle, three fingers pointed straight. That is, popularly, the “white power” symbol. He seemed to hold his hand that way multiple times.
So first, the rural broadband bill is, brace ya’self, socialism. Yes, I know, we have bipartisan support for the socialist agenda! For me, that’s great. For Trump, that means taking partisan and solitary credit for a bill that has crossed the aisle for years. Pretty much everyone is on board to bring broadband to historical underserved rural areas.
The catch? This broadband bill addresses connection at federal facilities. This is not a consumer access bill to connect the rural populous to the internet. This bill doesn’t do shit for rural America.
Enjoy your photo-op with farmers, though, Trumpster.