There is a difference between the use of eminent domain for public use and eminent domain for private use.
In normal society, the conversation actually ends there. In normal society, that’s the end of this post. But, we don’t live in a society that recognizes the difference between public good and private gain. There are segments of society – all of whom flock to the banner of Donald Trump, it seems – who believe that these are really the same thing, and that Jeb Bush is a hypocrite for blasting Trump on his use of eminent domain when he himself as governor bought land from private owners.
Take, for example, this person, whose article Trump has been tweeting out today as a lame defense for his support of eminent domain:
During the pre-New Hampshire ABC GOP presidential debate, Bush slammed Donald Trump on eminent domain. He was playing to a clearly hostile anti-Trump crowd, knowing that the Trump supporters only received 20 tickets for the debate. Jeb used eminent domain as a club to bash The Donald, citing a decades-old case of an elderly Atlantic City lady who refused to sell her property to Trump, which he wanted for a parking lot. Atlantic City condemned her property, trying to force her to sell, she challenged the condemnation in court and won. Trump quickly abandoned the idea in favor of more willing neighbors who sold their property to Trump for his parking lot, and he paid them quite well for their properties.
The Atlantic City story is now being repeated over and over again by the neo-cons to try to destroy Mr. Trump. They’re using the tactics of Joseph Goebbels, repeat a lie often enough….and people will eventually believe it.
As Florida Governor, Jeb Bush loved eminent domain and practiced it.
Please note that right away we have a reference to Goebbels, and the tossing about of neo-cons as an insult. Oh boy.
What follows is a series of stories about Jeb Bush’s administration seizing land for wetlands, weathering a deadly crop disease, and something about W. building a stadium in Texas. Of the three stories, one would maybe look askance at the last, of which Jeb had no part.
Jeb Bush as governor was doing things for public interest. There is a notable environmental impact from disappearing wetlands, and does do harm to the state when it happens. The same goes when there is a crop disease that could wipe out a key staple of Florida farmers. That is public good. That is the type of thing the government has to do sometimes. You can also see where the government offered the swamp property owner millions when he paid just $600,000 for the land originally. The government wasn’t out to swindle a guy.
Donald Trump, however, loves eminent domain, and has worked with government bodies to get land taken by the government not for the public good, but for his own private game. The Atlantic City case the aforementioned writer brings up? That wasn’t for the greater benefit of Atlantic City. That was for a limousine parking lot for one of Trump’s buildings. There was nothing about that case that would make you think “You know, it’s wrong to take someone’s land, but damn if Trump didn’t just save Atlantic City.”
Hell, Donald Trump broke Atlantic City.
This is not a difficult concept to understand. In a normal society, I wouldn’t need more than 550 words to explain this. But, a normal society wouldn’t let someone like Donald Trump be a leading presidential candidate either.