At this point in President Donald Trump’s first term, it is no secret that rather than counting all Americans as his constituents, the president lavishes preferential treatment — or at least the appearance of such — on his core base of supporters.
This dynamic is perhaps most noticeable when it comes to American farmers and the devastation wrought by Trump’s trade war with China.
A Washington Post analysis earlier this month, using data obtained by the Environmental Working Group under a Freedom of Information Act request, determined that the Market Facilitation Program, enacted by Trump to compensate farmers for their losses as his tariffs scheme has escalated and China has retaliated, helped bail out nearly 9 out of 10 counties that voted for Trump in 2016.
A total of 88 percent of the more than 2,000 counties that helped send Trump to the White House received at least some money from the president’s program.
By comparison, 78 percent of the less than 500 counties that went to Democrat Hillary Clinton in 2016 received some of the bailout money.
This is not to say that Trump favored counties that voted for him over those that voted for Clinton: “Trump counties received more subsidies because they are where agriculture is, and places with a lot of agriculture are more conservative and voted for Trump more heavily,” the Post noted.
But it is clear to see that failing to provide subsidies for a key portion of his base would not bode well for Trump’s re-election efforts, making a bailout for American farmers all but necessary.
Despite blasting Democrats for wanting to give the country “handouts” — like free college tuition — Trump is more than happy to offer his own handouts when it is his own support at stake.
After his $16 billion program was well in place, Trump tweeted last month, “Farmers are starting to do great again!”