A lefty and her Trump-loving father visit the Winter White House 

Mar-a-Lago, my old man and me

Page 3 of 5

A few days after our visit to Mar-a-Lago, a 4-foot-by-4-foot sinkhole appeared on the road directly outside the compound's front gate. In reporting the story, some journalists made note of the role that climate change is playing in Florida and the rest of the country.

My dad doesn't believe that climate change is real. He says that he has read and heard about scientists of "equal stature" including "eminent MIT scholars who are now on committees who say climate change is bullshit. There's nothing to it." He doesn't trust climate scientists' motives because he thinks that most of them are producing false conclusions so that they can continue to receive government funding for their labs.

His prediction was that Trump would call bullshit on the climate change hoax and kill the liberal cash cow. "I think you will see this climate conference in Paris that Trump will simply say, 'When you come up with something real, give me a buzz. In the meantime we aren't going to tax American consumers to prevent something that maybe is just unprovable.'"

Turned out my dad predicted that right – Trump pulled out of the Paris Agreement a little bit after our trip, even though, scientists say, Mar-a-Lago and Palm Beach will likely face dire consequences from rising sea levels.

A Guardian investigation showed that the Mar-a-Lago grounds already face a high risk of flooding and over the next 30 years, the resort could become uninhabitable.

As my dad and I took seaside photos along the boardwalk, my dad admired the natural beauty. I decided to keep my snarky "enjoy it while you can, climate change denier!" comments to myself.

Since we couldn't get into Mar-a-Lago and we had traveled the 40 miles to get there, we spent the afternoon strolling through Palm Beach. As we walked past Chanel and Louis Vuitton on tony Worth Avenue, I asked my dad, "Do you care that Trump seems to be closing off government from the people?"

My dad says he believes in government transparency and that he wants "to see information published widely and loudly." I am in graduate school studying to become an archivist and recently did an internship at a presidential library where I worked to preserve and make public presidential records. I've filed over a hundred Freedom of Information Act requests since Trump took office. I also want to see information published widely and loudly. Like Trump's tax returns, for instance.

"Oh, that's the old Democratic banging the drum," he said. "I don't care about his taxes. I mean, I know what Trump's taxes are going to show. They are going to show elaborate corporate stuff that will take armies of lawyers to fill out. I understand that."

The way my dad sees it, the complexity of Trump's taxes is the reason he doesn't need to see them. "He isn't a guy filling out a 1099. I mean his taxes are probably 50,000 pages long," he said.

That seems ludicrous to me. Lately, since our trip, I've been calling my dad and interviewing him about his views for this story, recording the calls with his permission so he doesn't accuse me of spreading "fake news," and he has a whole slew of arguments for not seeing Trump's taxes.

"I don't know that he needs to show his taxes. It's not a law, it's not required. I don't know. Maybe in years to come we will find out that he did in fact make a buck on his business while he was president but I don't know that and I can't say that at this point," he says one day on the phone, without hesitation. "I don't think we have any right to know what Trump's taxes are."

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