The toxic train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, has become a lightning rod for political grievances. MAGA and America First adherents like Marjorie Taylor Greene have accused the federal government of neglecting affected Ohioans and have created a reductive binary between the US government’s support of Ukraine and its support of Americans, pitting isolationist politics against globalist politics.
(Note: even professed liberals like Rosie O’Donnell got on FEMA about its wreck reaction.)
As former President Donald Trump heads to East Palestine to make an appearance and air his own political grievances, The Lincoln Group of anti-Trump Republicans is working to contradict the narrative of Trump as a fixer and problem solver.
(Trump’s son Donald Trump, Jr., characterized his father this way, tweeting about the former president’s Ohio visit: “If our ‘leaders’ are too afraid to actually lead, real leaders will step up and fill the void.”)
Not so fast, says The Lincoln Group, which claims to be the “leading pro-democracy organization in the United States.” The group contends that Trump “spent four years demolishing rail safety protections at the expense of the health and safety of average Americans. His trip to East Palestine, Ohio today is purely political theatre and a sad attempt to mask his failures as a President.”
Donald Trump spent four years demolishing rail safety protections at the expense of the health and safety of average Americans. His trip to East Palestine, Ohio today is purely political theatre and a sad attempt to mask his failures as a President. We won’t let him. pic.twitter.com/g3QeGq8Mv3— The Lincoln Project (@ProjectLincoln) February 22, 2023
Before announcing his visit, Trump had been quiet for weeks about the February 3 toxic wreck of nearly 50 Norfolk Southern train cars, many carrying hazardous materials. The Lincoln Group is joined by Democrats in highlighting the Trump administration’s 2017 decision to cancel an Obama era rule requiring electronically-controlled pneumatic brakes for rail cars presenting specific dangers.
Professor Aviva Vincent at Syracuse University, addressing the current and future impact of the derailment, reported on February 20:
“The toxins have already reached the Ohio River which flows through six states and serves as a source of drinking water. Over 3,500 fish have died, livestock that graze the lands have died or been moved out of state. The human toll will include the environmental, economic, social, and personal impact. Evacuated residents were given ‘permission’ to return home days after the event though it is still not safe to do so.”