Just Keep Trump-eting That Rhetoric

, , , , , | Right | May 16, 2019

(Our store is collecting change for a local charity that works with homeless men. As our town already has several excellent charities for families and women, this smaller group is working to help those who have previously been overlooked, and is having great success. To encourage giving, the change jar has a sign that reads, “Your change helped a homeless man buy boots so he can go to work.” I’m ringing up a woman who has been a bit brusk but otherwise polite. It’s late 2018, well after the presidential elections. As I’m ringing the woman up, she sees the change jar and makes a disapproving sound.)

Customer: “That’s not right, you know. I don’t approve. I don’t believe in helping those who won’t work.”

Me: *totally caught off guard* “Well, ma’am, that’s the goal: to help them get to the point where they can work.”

Customer: “They’re lazy and we’d be better off without them all.”

Me: *thinking: “Wait, you’d rather they just died?”* “Well, illnesses, both physical and mental, are the leading causes of homelessness. A lot of those men would love to live normal lives but can’t afford the medical care needed to get there. This group works with each one, ensuring they have the basic necessities like food and shelter, and then helps them navigate the next steps so they can hopefully get off the streets. It’s obviously more complex than that, but that’s the basic—“

Customer: “I just don’t think my hard-earned money should pay for them.”

Me: “No worries; you don’t have to give—“

Customer: “Trump’s going to fix that, you know.”

Me: “I… Excuse me?”

Customer: “He’s going to help them and fix things. Hilary wouldn’t, you know. Trump will.”

Me: “I… You… So, the Republican plan is to discourage local, grass-roots charities, and to instead fix things with federal-level programs?”

Customer: “Yeah, sure. He’ll fix it.”

Me: *pause* “Here’s your change, ma’am. Have a nice day.”

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