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At a rally in Tampa, Florida, on Tuesday, President Donald Trump revealed that he has possibly never been grocery shopping before when he claimed that doing so required a photo ID. It does not.
According to the Associated Press, Trump said, “If you go out and you want to buy groceries, you need a picture on a card, you need ID. You go out and you want to buy anything, you need ID and you need your picture.”
To some, this is egregious in its own right, although the fact that some politicians are out of touch is not news (but nice try, Mitt “my favorite meat is hot dog” Romney). And in simpler times, the gaffe might have amounted to a scandal: Politics writer Judd Legum noted that when George H.W. Bush was photographed looking unfamiliar with a grocery store scanner in 1992, it made the front page of the New York Times.
In this case, what Trump was really doing was using this false claim as a rhetorical device in an attempt to justify stricter voter ID laws, which require Americans to show photo identification in order to vote. “Only American citizens should vote in American elections,” he said. “The time has come for voter ID like everything else.”
Trump says you need a photo ID to buy groceries. pic.twitter.com/B4Nd0S645M— Judd Legum (@JuddLegum) August 1, 2018
What Trump may or may not realize is that many states already have these laws (including Florida). But by stating that “only Americans should vote in American elections,” which of course is already a foundational aspect of this country’s political system, he’s reiterating the lie that voter fraud is a major problem in America. Not only is it not, but it’s often used as a tactic for suppressing minority voters.
But maybe it is true that Donald Trump just simply doesn’t know how grocery shopping works, in which case, here is a helpful list of things you do and do not need a photo ID in order to purchase:
- The really good cold medicine
- Well-done steak
- Diet Coke
- All other groceries