Bikers for Trump and the Gift of Irony

Bikers for Trump and the Gift of Irony August 13, 2018

Those of us who love irony can’t help but be amused by the group Bikers for Trump, who held a pro-Trump gathering outside the Bedminster Golf Resort where Trump is vacationing. They slammed Harley Davidson for saying Trump’s tariffs might move out of the country to save costs and not have to raise prices, but guess where that group bought their pro-Trump hats from? China, of course.

Chris Cox, the founder of the Bikers for Trump group that has organized demonstrations for Mr. Trump across the country since he was a candidate, was using the Sturgis gathering this year to drum up more support for Mr. Trump and to mobilize opposition to Harley. He wants shareholders and riders to come together and petition the company to promise it will give generous severance packages to workers who might get fired as it moves manufacturing to other countries.

Like Mr. Trump, Mr. Cox is furious with Harley’s chief executive, Mr. Levatich, whom Mr. Cox says has “ties” to Europe and wants to make the company less American…

Explaining the importance of domestic production, Mr. Cox said that Vietnam veterans who joined motorcycle clubs after the war were disappointed decades later when the new brake pads they needed to buy were made in Vietnam. He said that many bikers he knows were now wearing long sleeves to conceal their Harley tattoos.

But even Mr. Cox, a South Carolina chain saw artist who carves trees and other objects, could not escape the realities of global supply chains and the high cost of making some products in the United States. While he used to sell American-made T-shirts, the $20 Trump shirts he was selling outside his R.V. were made in Haiti. The American-made shirts proved to be a hard sell.

“If I get a T-shirt made in the U.S.A., it’s going to cost about $8 more,” Mr. Cox said. “I looked far and wide to try to get a shirt made in America, it’s just they get you, they gouge you.”

And a million irony meters burst into flames at the same time. He’s all for cheap goods when he’s the one doing the buying and he’ll choose less expensive products from China over American jobs if it’ll save him a few bucks. But if Harley Davidson does it, they’re a bunch of un-American traitors who obviously hate American workers. And of course, if Harley did raise their prices by $2200 a bike, the estimated increase in their production costs from Trump’s absurd tariffs, he would then be complaining about how they’re just out to make a buck and they gouge you to do it.

And all of this in support of a president who has all of his products made overseas to make more profit as well, at the same time that he rails about other countries “stealing” our jobs by undercutting our labor costs. I think it’s safe to say that there aren’t any Rhodes Scholars hiding among the Bikers for Trump.

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