Donald Trump, to borrow a phrase, is “dead to me.” Well, not exactly, but in a radio interview Wednesday with a San Francisco-based nutritionist, Trump did indulge in one of modern politicians’ most irritating habits: praising the airports in developing countries like China, and lamenting the “third world” airports we supposedly have here in the United States.
“Look at our airports,” Trump thundered, with his inimitable combination of contempt and braggadocio, “JFK, LaGuardia, Newark . . . they’re like third world airports.”
If you go to China, meanwhile, Trump averred, “you won’t even believe what you’re seeing. And then you come home and land at LaGuardia where they have potholes in the runway.”
As it happens, I have been to China several times, and I can attest that they do have a few nice airports. Indeed, many of them have been newly constructed. But that’s because a few years ago, most Chinese airports looked like this. Of course, as that country develops and the aviation industry there expands, it’s going to build new airports. America, by contrast, has had a developed aviation industry for decades; the infrastructure needed to support the industry has been in place for quite some time.
Trump et al. seem, bizarrely, to want to build new airports simply for the hell of it. Would he support demolishing Trump Tower and constructing a new one its place just because there happen to be a few new skyscrapers in Shanghai? There’s a reason we refer to the United States as a developed country, and China as a developing one.
And that’s not to say that American airports are languishing in disrepair – in fact, the ones we have are constantly being improved. Dulles International Airport, just outside of Washington, recently opened a superb indoor train system, largely replacing the awful “moon rovers” that passengers used to rely on. Detroit’s airport, already one of the nicest in the country, is sprucing up its restaurant selection; the airport now even hosts an outpost of the famous Zingerman’s Deli of Ann Arbor. And it was recently announced that the much-maligned LaGuardia Airport in New York will have its terminals completely rebuilt.
Wednesday’s illogical screed was a depressing indication that Trump, for all his claims to being the anti-politician, can easily succumb to Biden-itis.