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Old Man Yells at Windmills

President Trump renewed his attacks on wind energy and vowed to cure cancer during a rally in Ohio

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 30: U.S. President Donald Trump talks to journalists before departing the White House July 30, 2019 in Washington, DC. Trump is traveling to Williamsburg, Virginia, to deliver remarks at the 400th Anniversary of the first representative legislative assembly at the historic Jamestown settlement. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump talks to journalists before departing the White House July 30th, 2019 in Washington, DC.

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

President Trump was in Cincinnati, Ohio, on Thursday night for another campaign rally. It wasn’t much different from any of his others. The president bashed Democratic presidential candidates as socialists, trashed liberal-leaning cities as crime-ridden, and railed against undocumented immigrants. All standard fare. So too were his attacks against windmills, which have strangely become a semi-regular feature of the Trump’s speech set list.

“If a windmill is within two miles of your house, your house is practically worthless,” he said, unprompted, on Thursday. “They make noise, they’re intermittent, they kill your birds, they break down all the time, you have to replace them every 10 years because they wear out, they cost a fortune, and they need subsidy. Other than that they’re quite good.”

“You don’t want one of those windmills within vision,” he continued. “You hear them. They’re noisy. They have a lot of problems.”

Trump has railed against windmills and wind energy on several occasions since taking office. The grudge that is likely the result of the U.K. Supreme Court ruling in 2015 that the Trump Organization was unable to block the construction of a wind farm Trump argued would sully the views from his golf course in Aberdeen, Scotland. The Trump Organization was ordered to pay Scotland’s legal bills from the case, and the wind farm was erected in 2018.

In March, Trump told factory workers in Lima, Ohio, that the construction of windmills, the idea for which he blamed on Hillary Clinton, would mean Americans would not be able to watch TV when the wind wasn’t blowing. To illustrate his point, he play-acted a conversation between a man and wife who are frustrated that wind energy is cramping their style. It was the second time he did the same routine that month. “When the wind stops blowing, that is the end of your electric,” he said to wild applause at the CPAC conference in National Harbor, Maryland. “‘Let’s hurry up. Darling, is the wind blowing today? I would like to watch television, darling.'”

The roadshow continued later in March during a rally in Grand Rapids, Michigan. “If Hillary got in … you’d be doing wind. Windmills. Wheeee! And if it doesn’t blow, you can forget about television for that night. ‘Darling, I want to watch television.’ ‘I’m sorry! The wind isn’t blowing.'”

“I know a lot about wind,” he added.

The next month, while speaking at a National Republicans Congressional Committee event in Washington, D.C., Trump argued that windmills cause cancer. “If you have a windmill anywhere near your house, congratulations, your house just went down 75% in value,” he said. “And they say the noise causes cancer.”

He then mimed the motions of a windmill with his finger and made a cranking noise.

Nearly all of Trump’s contentions about the side effects of wind energy have been roundly debunked. There is no evidence suggesting they cause cancer; there is scant evidence suggesting they have any impact on property values; and because power grids use a variety of energy sources, electrical appliances would not cease to function if the wind stops blowing.

The most absurd of these gripes is, of course, that windmills cause cancer. But if the rest of Trump’s speech in Cincinnati on Thursday was any indication, this soon won’t be that big of a deal.

Trump also promised to cure cancer on Thursday. “The things we’re doing in our country today — there’s never been anything like it,” the president proclaimed. “We will be ending the AIDS epidemic in America very shortly, and curing childhood cancer very shortly.”

 

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