AP Photo/Richard Drew
Houston, we may have a problem on planet Donald Trump. Not only is his tax plan more progressive than flatly fair, but now the squirrel-haired one has come out as an apologist for eminent domain, a DEFINITE conservative bugaboo.
On Tuesday evening, Fox News aired an interview Brett Baier did with The Donald on a number of issues. Listen to what the man has to say about getting the government to take possession of personal property all in the name of “progress.”
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Why do I always need a drink after watching Donald Trump talk?
So, in Donald Trump’s mind, it’s okay to take the property that someone may have put heart and soul into developing to put in a highway, or a factory, or someplace that is going to add thousands of jobs to the economy. He describes the people who refuse to sell on first flush of a buyout as “hold-outs” who are in it for the money.
Those of us who live in the big cities divided and carved up by the 1955 Interstate System have something to say about that. A lot of property was taken off the tax rolls. Whole neighborhoods were divided, and communities destroyed. Streets were cut off. The cities ceased to be continuous and unified. (There’s another motive that has floated around, but it can’t be proven. It IS, though, about power and influence and the Church.) The destruction cannot be denied.
Highways and factories aside, the Kelo decision that Trump defends was more about “urban development” by way of removing “blight” in the form of working class housing that has seen better days. It’s one thing to use eminent domain to remove truly derelict buildings and crack houses and the like. It’s quite another to force middle class people to leave their communities simply because someone doesn’t like the way the housing looks and wants to put a shopping mall or industrial plant in that spot. (Anyone who lives in parts of the country that have been occupied for at least a century has seen this happen.) In the Kelo case, in New London, Connecticut, eminent domain took all the housing, and the corporate entity looking at the property for relocation, Pfizer, decided not to build there.
Given that property development and redevelopment is Donald Trump’s business industry, he’s going to be a cheerleader for not just the idea of eminent domain, but liberal use of it. His conservative supporters might want to take note of that and remember that Donald Trump may get the job done, but he doesn’t seem to care much about destroying functioning communities as unsightly as they may be in the process and redistributing that property to someone else.