Bette Midler Wants Donald Trump to “Open His Eyes for Once”
by PAUL CHI
JUNE 13, 2018 6:35 PM
Just a few days after Donald Trump skipped a G7 session on the environment, one of his former Twitter targets was out in New York to advocate for it. Bette Midler, whose nonprofit, New York Restoration Project, cleans up parks and gardens throughout New York City, hosted the organization’s 17th annual Spring Picnic gala at Harlem’s Rodale Pleasant Park Community Garden on Tuesday. And maybe it’s the early summer weather, or her imminent return to Broadway as the fearlessly optimistic star of Hello, Dolly!, but Midler was in a more conciliatory mood than Trump usually is.
“Holy cow, I could go off. I’m saying nice things tonight, so I’m biting my tongue,” Midler said when asked what she would say to Trump to persuade him on the environment. “I will say: no administration lasts forever. That’s the only positive thing about all of this.”
Midler’s and Trump’s Twitter sparring goes back to 2012, when he devoted no fewer than five tweets to personally insulting her. Midler continues to keep up her end of the conversation, including this June 7 tweet:
#Satan is jealous of #Trump.
10:52 AM – Jun 7, 2018
Midler, who fell in love with nature while growing up in Hawaii, is perplexed that the president and White House officials are ignoring the rise of natural disasters and studies stating that climate change is increasing the risk of extreme-weather events, including droughts, flooding, and heat waves.
“Something is going on. Some of the fires, the hurricanes, the snow storms, the gigantic floods, and natural disasters that happened all over the world show that things are not the way they were. He needs to open his eyes for once,” Midler said. “If you are old as I am—and I’m pretty old—you know that something has changed. We need leadership with an intellect, [that] has a vision, and believes that we have to accomplish in solving these problems.”
Blondie singer Debbie Harry, a supporter of the project, echoed Midler’s sentiments. She finds it “scary” that Trump doesn’t care about the state of the environment, and that business takes precedence over the natural world.
“He’s senseless, and I doubt he has any emotional depth of any sort,” said Harry, who led a sing-along of the Beatles’ “Can’t Buy Me Love” with Midler during the gala’s dinner. “It’s tragic that he doesn’t care about the environment or anything else except himself. I find it unbelievable. What Bette is doing is helping everyone. The more green spaces we have, people are happier and feel better. He can learn a lot from her.”