Watching Trump, it’s easy to play the Dukes of Hazzard TV show theme in your head and say to yourself, “ol’ Trump, he’s at it agin’.” Well…he’s at it again, this time he’s reversed a decision to ban on bringing the bodies of endangered animals that were hunted for sport into the U.S.
Now, first of all, don’t panic. I know this sounds like an issue where there is no middle ground: “killing endangered animals is bad!” Except…well, there’s a grey area. I don’t know why liberals like me aren’t willing to keep the same open mind that they keep towards, say, illegal drugs, to trophy hunting. I’m not saying it’s good, but I am saying that rich assholes given canned hunting trips of carefully cultivated and selected animals pays for conservation efforts to prevent poaching. For better or worse, this is the private sector stepping in where tax dollars don’t. Yay free market! For a more detailed look at, I’d suggest watching Adam Ruins Everything, or hearing the Radiolab Podcast about it.
Bad: personal conflict of interest
But, it is certainly bad. First, I cannot stress this enough, he is fucking trolling us. Boy, do we love our cute fuzzy animals, and boy don’t we also love to be angry at rich assholes who do things we mere mortals can’t. But, the fact is, every self-righteous re-tweet and every minute of talking head news time we spend on this shit we spend is less time we spend getting outraged at shit that affects us a lot more. Just to name one, there’s the monstrosity of a tax bill. The bill has all sorts of weird things in it that you have to either understand the previous stance on, or have to explain in several steps. To give an example, graduate students getting a stipend for teaching classes will get a major tax increase. It’s…seriously complicated, and I’m using circular reasoning to prove my point by skipping it. But, we don’t have the bandwidth to be outraged by both, so Trump knows we’ll scream about the dead animals.
And second, this is one of those laws that hits home for Trump. Literally. His children, Donald Jr. and Eric, are proud trophy hunters. This is an order that can personally affect him and his family, and this is just another instance of Trump blatantly making no effort to hide his conflicts of interest, and very few people calling bullshit. Nepotism begins at home.