I know, now, that rummaging through Donald Trump’s old tweets, while cathartic evidence of the president’s cellular level hypocrisy, just isn’t done anymore. We get it: He used to be a bloviating billionaire, now he’s a bloviating president, spewing the same sweet inanity, just in a different direction. But given Trump’s comments on the California wildfires, ranging from divisively political to simply dumb, this old Trump Smokey Bear tweet is, quite simply, perfect.
It’s the masterpiece of Old Trump Twitter©. Its defining work. The full circle. A faint reminder of a simpler time when you could just be genuinely appalled by the emerging President Trump, rather than authentically terrified by his policies, and scolded by those for not understanding what Real America™ thought or believed about him.
With this Smokey Bear tweet however, we can all move on together.
Smokey Bear was created by the U.S. Forest Service as an educational tool to help promote awareness and prevention of human-initiated forest fires. With slogans like “Smokey Says Care Will Prevent 9 out of 10 Forest Fires” and “Only You Can Prevent Forest Fires,” Smokey nuzzled his way into the American consciousness in 1944 and never left. The anthropomorphic black bear is the country’s longest-running public service advertising campaign.
Trump’s pre-presidential questioning of Smokey’s funding, and thereby utility, is eye-rollingly relevant again given the president’s response to the historic wildfires currently raging in California.
On Saturday, during a tour of the damage, Trump suggested maybe raking, you know, more like Finland, would solve the problem. “We have to take care of the floors, the floors of the forest. It is very important. You look at other countries, they do it definitely and it is a whole different story,” Trump said. “I was with the president of Finland and he said, ‘We’re a forest nation.’ He called it a ‘forest nation.’ And they spend a lot of time on raking and cleaning and doing things, and they don’t have any problem. And when it is, it is a very small problem. So I know everybody is looking at that … to that end. And it’s going to work out, it’s going to work out well.”
Whatever it costs to maintain Smokey Bear certainly seems like a bargain now.