Dear President Trump,
Welcome to California! Now go home.
Actually, we would love for you to stay awhile, because there’s a lot more to California than the border and Beverly Hills, which we understand are the only two stops on your agenda. But you’re a spur-of-the-moment kind of guy, right? So why not prolong your visit and really get to know us?
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We may be biased, but we’re especially proud of San Luis Obispo County, and would like to extend another personal invitation to pay us a visit. (We also invited you last year, when much of California was on fire, but who’s keeping track?)
We even have a tour guide in mind: Abel Maldonado, who lives just south of us in Santa Maria. Remember him? You considered him for secretary of agriculture. Perhaps Arnie could join, too. Oh, never mind! We forgot about what a mess he made of “The Apprentice,” and we know you just like winners.
If you’re worried about the welcome you would get here in SLO County, don’t be.
We are a Republican majority county! You would be among friends, though truth be told, some of those pussy-hat-wearing progressives might show up with a few protest signs. Oh, and you might want to avoid passing by our schools on Wednesday, because students are planning to be part of the national 17-minute protest of gun violence. They may not take too kindly to the sight of a presidential motorcade, since you sort of backtracked on those gun control measures you considered for what ... about five minutes?
As for the itinerary, perhaps you’ve heard of the Carrizo Plain National Monument, since it was on the Interior Department’s “hit list”? We urge you to see it for yourself to understand why locals don’t take kindly to the idea of doing away with this natural wonderland.
We also highly recommend a visit to our beautiful coastline, which your administration may open to offshore oil and gas leasing — over the objections of many of our local agencies and most residents. While you’re there, interview a few small business owners who make their living off beach tourism. Ask them how they would fare in the event of a major oil spill.
From there, it’s a quick hop to the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant, the last operating nuclear plant in the state, though not for long. The operation is shutting down in 2024-25, which will put a lot of people out of work and reduce tax revenue for local schools, parks, law enforcement, etc. Perhaps you could use your influence to encourage other industries (preferably clean ones) to start up here. One suggestion: Set aside your hatred of wind farms and encourage their development.
We also hope you might have a word or two with the folks at the Department of Energy. Urge them to get moving on a solution to the pesky problem of what to do with all that spent radioactive fuel. We were guaranteed here in earthquake-prone California that we would not have to “host” spent fuel forever ... but it certainly is looking that way.
Next, we recommend a jaunt down the coast to Santa Barbara to view the aftermath of the fires and mudslides, since you didn’t make it out when those disasters were actually occurring. No judging, we know you’re a busy man!
Last but not least, you might want to drop by Oprah’s place in Montecito, because it never hurts to size up the competition.
The Tribune Editorial Board