Running a country is a 24/7 job
By Cazzy Lewchuk, Opinions Editor
Donald Trump loves to criticize Barack Obama, and one of his prime complaints before his political career was Obama’s time spent golfing. Like many other conservatives, Trump thought Obama’s golf trips in Florida were expensive (the security and flight costs ran as high as $1 million for the weekend) and that golfing was the president’s way of goofing off instead of solving America’s problems.
The Donald criticized Obama enough that it made him the next president of the United States. Naturally, it’s only two months into his term and he spends much of his time goofing off playing golf on very expensive trips to Florida (security and flight costs rising as high as $3 million) instead of solving America’s problems.
The PotUS playing golf frequently to unwind is nothing new. Every single one of them has done it, spanning back decades. Unfortunately, the cost of making sure nobody shoots these people while they’re teeing off does end up being quite high, as does anything else necessary for protecting the president. In addition to their salary and benefits (such as living in the White House), the POTUS is entitled to taxpayer money for security. It is the cost of protecting the head of state.
Running a country is an extremely stressful and difficult job. The positions require a strict schedule, with almost every moment of their lives planned out during their term in office. All sorts of heads of state use government funds to travel and live their life. Being president, prime minister, chancellor, or dictator is a 24 hour job. If the PotUS is playing golf and their presence is required, they will stop what they’re doing to put the needs of the country first.
This is not a criticism exclusive to the left or right. Liberals will criticize conservative candidates on their activities, and conservatives will do much the same when they see liberals spending time in a way they don’t like. Any time Justin Trudeau is covered in the media doing a fun activity, it leads to a backlash with his opponents questioning why he had time to go see Star Wars but not enough time to work on Canada’s problems. Apparently, world leaders are not supposed to have any leisure time.
Donald Trump using so much taxpayer money is par for the course as a president. What is unique is his own circumstances. In addition to his claim of having a net worth in the billions, Donald uses far more taxpayer money on security than most presidents have. His wife doesn’t want to live in the same house as him so their son can keep going to his private school, and the cost of protecting their NYC residence can be upwards of $1 million a day. Even more troubling is Trump’s extreme cuts to basic social programs like Meals On Wheels and PBS. It’s quite important that his wife lives in a solid gold apartment, but the cost of feeding 500,000 veterans a year is simply much too high for the government to pay.
Of course, Donald’s hypocrisy is not as important as his many other scandals. His sexual assault charges, coalition with Russia, and general mental state are all reasons why he shouldn’t be president. His general demeanour is as horrible as his policies, which are detrimental to the most disadvantaged Americans. If one is going to criticize Trump, his platforms and actions are perhaps more important than the amount of time he spends on the golf course.
Pick your battles when criticizing politicians. What matters is their career performance through their actions, not what they were doing at any particular time of day.