This series on why animal lovers need to dump Trump and join The Resistance against Trump and his administration may lose me followers. It may bring on attacks to my page and Twitter account. I don’t care.
Almost every day, I come across people on Twitter and other social media platforms who proclaim themselves to be “animal lovers”, “dog lovers,” and sometimes even claim that they’re vegan, while simultaneously supporting Donald Trump and the current administration. I don’t understand this. Setting aside his racism and sexism, and just speaking on animal issues alone (although the issues are linked): How can anyone who claims to love animals support a man who is anti-animal?
I came up with over 5 ways in which Trump is anti-animal. I will address each animal issue one by one in a separate post. This is the first.
Trump doesn’t like pets and is constantly disparaging dogs.
Fellow animal lovers: Do you think it’s okay to use “dog” as an insult? Trump does.
A recent New York Times opinion piece, “What the President Doesn’t Get About Dogs“ inspired me to include this reason on my list. In her article, Weiner points out that Trump is consistently using the phrase “like a dog” to insult people. For example, on January 5th of this year, Trump tweeted: “Michael Wolff is a total loser who made up stories in order to sell this really boring and untruthful book. He used Sloppy Steve Bannon, who cried when he got fired and begged for his job. Now Sloppy Steve has been dumped like a dog by almost everyone.”
Does anyone know what Trump means by the phrase “dumped like a dog”? The phrase makes sense in reference to the fact that 3.3 million dogs are “dumped” in U.S. shelters every year, and approximately 670,000 of whom are killed, which is deplorable. Anyone who cares about dogs would be concerned about the rate at which shelters kill those who have been dumped. Trump obviously does not.
Trump’s habit of insulting dogs has indeed caught the attention of the press, although it’s understandable if you missed it considering all the other articles written about him. New York Magazine compiled a list of Trump’s “like a dog” tweets in the article “Bad Things Happen to Dogs, According to Donald Trump.” The list contains many, many tweets, going back years. One of my “favorites” is when Trump wrote: “Robert Pattinson should not take back Kristen Stewart. She cheated on him like a dog & will do it again–just watch. He can do much better!” It’s not the only time Trump compared dogs to women. Obviously, he doesn’t think highly of either group. Another tweet is when he quoted himself, saying Mitt Romney “Choked like a Dog.”
Is anyone else uncomfortable with Trump associating an act of violence with an innocent animal? Where are the “animal lovers” who support him when Trump tweets this stuff out?
Clearly, his obsession with insulting dogs demonstrates that he does not like them; otherwise, they wouldn’t be his go-to insult. In fact, according to his first wife, Ivana, “Donald was not a dog fan.” They lived with a poodle named Chappy, who Trump didn’t like (and vice versa.) Ivana wrote in her memoir:
And let’s be clear – it’s not just dogs. Trump doesn’t like pets, period. He’s the first President in 150 years to not have a pet – Trump has destroyed the presidential pet tradition! Why is this significant? Andrew Hager, historian in residence at the Presidential Pet Museum, had this to say in a CNN article, discussing why presidential pets are so important:
“It allows a connection between the average citizen and the person in power,” Hager said. “Generally, we tend to look at these people and see them as removed from us, but we know if they have a pet, we’re on the same playing field. Getting down on the floor with a dog humanizes the politician. … It’s a window into the person’s soul in a way you don’t get at a press briefing or a campaign ad.”
Yet we don’t see that side of Trump, because it doesn’t exist. Trump had the opportunity to bring in an adorable golden doodle, Patton, into the White House.
Lois Pope, a prominent philanthropist in Palm Beach, Fla., who advocates for veterans’ and animal causes, said in an interview Tuesday that she is in possession of a 9-week-old golden retriever and poodle mix that will soon become the first dog. Pope said she notified Trump, whom she has known for more than two decades, about the Goldendoodle in writing and showed him a photo of the pooch at the Trumps’ recent Thanksgiving event at their Mar-a-Lago home.
Patton was given a page on the Presidential Pet Museum website, but unfortunately (or maybe fortunately!) Patton did not join them at the White House. Trump turned down Patton, claiming he was “too busy” to have a dog.
But is that the real reason? Trump’s other remarks on having a pet indicates that he wouldn’t stoop so low as to have one. You see, Mike Pence has pets. When Pence and his family moved into the Naval Observatory, Pence announced that they would bring the family rabbit, snake, and two cats. Trump’s reaction? The Atlantic writes:
Trump ridiculed the menagerie to his secretary, according to a longtime adviser. “He was embarrassed by it; he thought it was so low class,” says the adviser. “He thinks the Pences are yokels.”
To be fair to animal lovers, there was some outrage on Twitter about this. However, I’m disappointed in how quickly pet lovers forget Trump’s attitude toward pets. They want to “Make America Great Again,” but shouldn’t that include the animals in our shelters? Those in our homes? Shouldn’t his supporters with dogs and cats as family members find his insulting pet remarks offensive? Unfortunately, Trump’s vocal disregard for dogs may go unacknowledged by most. The problem is that his remarks perpetuate a harmful attitude towards animals in which they’re regarded like garbage. (See, for example, the aforementioned statistics on animals being dumped and killed in shelters.)
If Trump wasn’t such a bigot, one might feel bad that he doesn’t understand the love and companionship that comes with being guardian to a canine. The New York Times piece puts this beautifully:
Mr. Trump may never know the steadying warmth of a dog by his side while he rage-watches cable TV. He won’t know the way a dog’s paw-pads smell like corn chips, or the pleasure at the sight of her paddling her feet, giving little yips and snarls as she chases squirrels in her dreams.
He might be the president, with Air Force One and a model wife and, if you believe him, a desk equipped with a nuclear button that is bigger than anyone else’s button. But if you’ve got a dog, you are rich in a way that Mr. Trump will never be.