Donald Trump took some time out of his busy presidential campaign schedule on Wednesday to campaign for his brand. Appearing onstage with his favorite children at the opening of the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C., Trump said, “Today is a metaphor for what we can accomplish for this country.”
Today might also be a metaphor for the entire Trump campaign—the long con and cynical ploy of a craven businessman who has turned the presidential election into a massive, free advertising campaign for his dumb brand. And today is one other thing, too: It is the moment Trump, by explicitly merging his campaign and his business interests, assured that all the hostility he inspired with the former will linger around the latter.
That was certainly true outside of the hotel, where about a hundred protesters gathered on Wednesday morning, many marching on behalf of workers trying to unionize at Trump’s Las Vegas hotel. Holding up signs that read “Boycott Trump Old Post Office Hotel. Trump Las Vegas Hotel Must Negotiate” and “Stand With Immigrant Workers,” members of D.C. labor organizations and other anti-Trump protesters marched in a circle around the plaza in front of the hotel. The entrance steps, where the ribbon cutting ceremony was originally set to take place, was blocked by huge banners that read “Shame on Trump” and “Immigrants & Muslims Are Welcome Here—Trump Hotel Is Not.” One woman propped up a sign on her wheelchair that read “Don’t Mock Us.”
Some backstory on the union protest: Last December, hotel workers at the Trump Hotel in Las Vegas voted to join the Culinary Workers Union and Bartenders Union, part of the national hospitality workers union Unite Here. Sarah Jacobson, an organizing director at Unite Here in D.C., told Slate at the rally that the Trump Organization “has refused to accept the results of those elections and has not come to the bargaining table.” Unite Here launched a boycott in September of all Trump properties until Trump, the only presidential candidate looking out for the American worker, negotiates a labor union contract with his own.
The protest was attended by several local advocacy organizations. Manny Peralta, an officer with the National Association of Letter Carriers, which has officially endorsed Hillary Clinton, told Slate that Trump was a “coward” and that his spokespeople were “chicken” for not addressing the protesters.
“We know that Donald has spoken up about how he favors working men and women—it’s absolute BS,” Peralta said.
In her remarks at the ceremony inside, Ivanka Trump thanked Trump hotel workers for their support.
“One of the most telling signs of his success over decades is the thousands of people who have worked with him, worked for him, fought with him, and who continue to stand by his side in their quest to achieve great things,” she said.
Yeah, today is a metaphor for something.