Trump arrived to a mostly supportive crowd downtown in October. Photo by Ken Wheatcroft-Pardue

In mid-October, Donald Trump – evidently needing a break from his usual Washington routine of tweeting vulgar insults, binge-watching Fox News, coddling tyrants, and thinking up ever new ways to torture migrant children between rounds of golf –– decided to give our fair city a visit, the ostensible point being to come where the West begins, get reinvigorated, and raise tons of filthy lucre from Texas’ well-bootheeled.

I waited among the throng in front of the Flying Saucer downtown around lunchtime, eager to catch a glimpse of 45. I was standing with a handful of anti-Trump protesters, a small isle in a sea of supporters and the merely curious. After a rush of motorcycles and black SUVs, the president’s limo finally came into sight. And I have to hand it to Trump. He didn’t give your usual cheesy politician smile complete with a stiff hand wave. He rode by with a frown set firmly on his face, appraising those who came out to see him like a potentate. Or more likely, he was just saving himself for the real audience, his donors at the tony City Club of Fort Worth.

And for good reason. Trump has hovered around the not-very-impressive 45-percent approval rating only a few times, been beset by multiple scandals, and faces a possible impeachment. If he wants to win in 2020, he’ll need ready cash and plenty of it. He’s reportedly already raised more than $300 million this year. And not surprisingly for him – between his official duties, Keep America Great rallies, and his great “concern” about corruption in Ukraine – he’s found time for some Trumpian self-dealing. His campaign and the Republican National Committee, Forbes says, have already paid more than $1 million in rent to Trump Tower. Sweet.


Knowing all that, I was surprised to learn that Fort Worth didn’t charge anything for Trump’s October visit. Now what did 45 do in our city exactly? Did he come here to console the relatives of Atatiana Jefferson, the woman who was murdered in her home by a Fort Worth police officer? Now that would have truly been a presidential act for him, trying to bring us together instead of being the usual divisive figure he’s been throughout his presidency. Imagine Trump hugging Atatiana’s family, expressing sympathy, and pleading for real justice to be done. Perhaps in a kinder, wiser alternative universe but, sadly, not in ours. Trump came to Fort Worth in October for one reason: to rake in cash from his mega-rich donors.

Tickets were sold for between $5,600 and $250,000. And, according to Bloomberg News, he was successful, raising $5.5 million. His biggest contributors received the holy grail of campaign giving: close access to the president in a roundtable meeting.

Then Donald left the way he came, with our police force providing protection, closing streets, and leading the motorcade. The Star-Telegram reported that about 100 police officers were involved in protecting Trump.

The City of Fort Worth tells us that we can’t afford to keep the Botanic Garden open without charging admission, something that would benefit all the people of Fort Worth. Instead, they can offer a wealthy president free police protection for a visit that has nothing to do with his official duties while his campaign is swimming in big bucks.

Some could reasonably argue, why bother charging him? The Trump campaign has already stiffed cities from Spokane to El Paso for more than $1 million total. But it’s the principle of the thing. You can’t let the shiftless ultra-rich go around thinking it’s alright to get something for nothing. Conservatives love to complain about welfare for the poor, taking an almost primal delight in making the lives of lower-income people even more brutal and short while ignoring the more common public funding of welfare to the rich, of which this is a prime example. And we didn’t even get a lousy T-shirt.

Fort Worth writer Ken Wheatcroft-Pardue can be reached at The Weekly welcomes opinion submissions from all political persuasions. Please contact Editor Anthony Mariani at


  1. The writer should check his facts. According to Rasmussan’s Daily Presidential Tracking Poll, President Trump’s approval rating sits at 51%. So what was President Obama’s approval rating at the same point in his presidency? According to Rasmussan, Obama’s approval rating was a, “not-very-impressive 45-percent”.

    The author does however, raise a fair question. Perhaps we should charge candidates for security for campaign events. So, wondering how the City of Fort Worth handled President Obama’s visits to our city, I searched the internet for reports of President Obama’s trips to Cowtown. I couldn’t find a single mention of President Obama setting foot in our town. So, in the interest of fairness, I propose that should a democratic president ever come to Fort Worth for a fund raiser, the city provide security for him as well.

    One interesting discovery in my internet search was a headline from NBC Channel 5 regarding a presidential trip to Texas in 2014. The headline reads, “President Obama Calls on Congress to Act Now to Fix Border Crisis.” The article mentions that President Obama had recently asked Congress for $3.7 billion in emergency spending for the border. So I suppose President Obama is guilty of torturing “migrant children between rounds of golf” as well?

    • I used FiveThirtyEight’s Presidential Approval Rating numbers, which is a weighted average of several polls, in order to prevent taking outlier polls, like your Rasmussan survey, too seriously.

      • “Weighted” = Adjusted to fit whatever narrative they want to push.

        This is the same guy who said Hillary had a 79% chance of winning the presidency.

        • A little math illiterate, are we? Nate’s final prediction, which was closer than most, gave Trump 29% chance of winning. That means if the election was run ten times, Trump would win 3 times. So are you in total shock when it rains when the Weather Service tells you there was a 30% chance of rain? Must not be from around here. And when you grab hold of higher numbers in an outlier poll, are you not picking them because they conveniently fit into your own narrative? Give me a break.

          • But we don’t run the election ten times. You get one chance to get it right. And all the so-called experts were wrong. Spectacularly wrong. Embarrassingly wrong.

            Now those same “experts” report on how unpopular the president supposedly is. Considering their past failures, perhaps you should consider that maybe, just maybe, they’re wrong again (still).

            You complain about the cost of the president’s trip to Fort Worth. But at least Donald Trump can find Fort Worth. In eight years as president, Barack Obama never visited our city once.

  2. I see this as propaganda, unworthy of print, seeing the source I understand the gloomy mind for which it came, and wonder how is it, he has a place to publish his, clap trap baloney. Its no wonder the media is looked at as being a total sh*t can. This isn’t responsible writing, and those who edit this paper are doing great harm to themselves and to the media itself in general. That is all I have to say about that, which was plenty.
    Signed: James G. Clark

  3. Yes the Fort Worth Weekly is nothing short of a comic book really. I read it just for a good laugh now and then. Their “reporters” couldn’t find a fact if it was on a billboard in flashing lights.

    They have never run a positive story that is uplifting, the total reason they exist is to “wah” “wah” “wah” and “woe is me”.

  4. Hey Ken—I voted for President Trump in 2016 and I’m going to do it again. The Democrats and their media allies only offer the American public a consistent diet of distortion and a giant sh*t sandwich. The old barfly who beat out Konni Burton for a state Senate seat is also a stinking do nothing entitled loser.

  5. I support the concept that ANY politician coming to ANY city, should pay for their own security while they are traveling to/from ANY fundraising activity.

  6. WOW. There’s that “division” word again, not to mention blatantly ignoring the FACT that the “kid cages” came in use during Obama’s administration. I still find it humorous that the left insist that Trump has divided this country, as they call for resistance, protests, and even talk of friends and family that they have had to “dismiss” from their lives due to their support of Trump. I’ve never been embarrassed for our country before, but, I am now, every time I read someone spouting their drivel in a horrific attempt at disguising it as some sort of “article”.
    The left’s use of condescending, sarcastic comments as a substitute for intelligent, fact-based debate only highlights that their source of facts and information have shifted from responsible news agencies to outlets “anchored” by the likes of John Stewart, Samantha Bee, and Steven Colbert. A portion of our society actually looks to comedians for their leadership. I guess I can’t blame them, since there seem to be none of the responsible news agencies left, and it beats looking to an angry teenager, with limited social skills, being fed speeches by their parents, for leadership.

  7. I also forgot to add that listening to people whine about “their tax dollars” to slam Trump is the equivalent of listening to the drunk guy get pulled out of his vehicle as he tells the officers that “they work for him.” Even better, the guy who thinks he gets to decide what his child’s mother gets to spend “his support” on. The police are there to do a job, and that job is paid for by money collected, in the form of taxes, by the city. There would be no budget passed at all, if everyone had a say in what they thought was the responsible way to disperse the funds.
    How come I never hear the outcry that a state like California has to come up with $25 billion dollars for their annual budget, just to pay for the services needed because of ILLEGAL immigrants, while every head of household tax payer in California would be roughly $2300 bucks richer, were it not for this problem? $25 BILLION DOLLARS. EVERY YEAR. Before one dime is spent on an American citizen that pays into that system?
    How about the fact that I have no children? Why am I paying for schools and other child-related programs? I’ve also never been to prison – why am I paying for those?
    The bottom line is that the more the left use every available excuse to portray Trump in a negative light, the more ridiculous, biased, and irrational it makes you look, when the same could be said for ANY previous president, or public official – it simply highlights the intent to divide and influence the perception of Trump, over any type of rational, productive discussion of realistic issues and problems that this country faces, and that will ALWAYS result in more people turning their backs on you, then joining you.

  8. all these Trump lover’s reading the weekly? Boy that’s a shock.

    the Grifter in Chief had to give back $25M to Trump U victims and $3M on his charity dodge and still these guys can’t get enough of Trump. Then he stiffed El Paso, after calling the safest city of its size in America a crime infested sewer. Where is your Texas Pride fellows? Them should be fighting words! or is El Paso a little too Hispanic to count as a Texas city?

    it was in my lifetime that the entire R playbook was debt and deficits and now we have records for both and not a bleep from whining R’s . Not word one. Nada. Zilch. Rien.

    as far a cozying up to Putin, that is just down rite pathetic if not corrupt and dangerous. I happen to think Trump is finacailly beholden to Putin. What will you all say whent that come out?
    Itss not just Trump. McConnel wrangled a lot of Russian money for Ky. I wonder how much went to the McConnel Family? Since Russia is our enemy this all looks like treason to me.

    its not that American was sold to Putin its more like R’s simply gave it away. Ask a Ukrainian about American , the shining city on a hill, the beacon of light and freedom.

    I will remind R’s what happened in 2018. It was a landslide and you all have seemed to have learned nothing from it, nor from the Autopsy of 2008. Your party is shrinking into irrelevance as you bleat even louder and longer for the dear beleaguered and frankly unhinged Trump. What exactly do you think the Donald will do for you, when you know , push comes to shove. Send your kids or grandkids for fight for Saudi Arabia?

    Heh let’s play a game called the infrastructure game. circle any that apply:

    who gave us Carswelll , GD and DFW airiport?

    FDR ……………. J. Wright. ……………………..Santa Clause

    who gave us Trinity River Vision : K. Granger …………her son……………the grinch

  9. wow. love that a liberal hippy rag like the fort worth weekly seems to be read by old codgers like me. i read it for the ironic whining, the biased articles and the food reviews.

  10. BTW your King Trump said thruout his campaign he would make frug companies negotiate with HHS for Medicare drugs.

    in October he said he wouldn’t.

    Pelosi sent a bill to McConnel on Friday to allow HHS to negotiate drug prices with big Pharma, thereby lowering cost of drugs to ,well you know who you are.

    again Trump rejected his own campaign promise in October.

    “4 more years, 4 more years” MAGA and all that rot, , 4 more years and your SS and Medicare will have magically disappeared.

    see ya down at JPS indigent care.