Michael Savage took to his radio show on Tuesday to call on President Donald Trump to reinstate a ban on the importation of “elephant trophies” from African countries.
The Department of the Interior (DOI) withdrew “enhancement findings” via the 2014 and 2015 Endangered Species Act (ESA), opening the possibility of approval of importation of “elephant trophies” on a “case-by-case” basis.
“Mr. President, please hear our message today,” said Savage. “Please save the elephants. … I am pleading with President Trump to reverse his order. … At this late stage of human history and human evolution, we have very little time left to save our noble friends.” Savage added, “Stop the importation of elephant trophies and stop it now. … Remember, Mr. President, insensitivity leads to brutality. We need to get back to a respect for life of all kinds.”
Permitting the importation of “elephant trophies” affirms left-wing caricatures of Republicans, warned Savage:
Mr. President, permitting the importation of elephant trophies, this is a stereotype of the ugly Republican on steroids. Everything that the left says about the insensitive, earth-killing, oafish, animal-destroying Republican is coming to fruition in this one move.
You still have time to reverse this order and restore common decency. Please stop the importation of elephant trophies, and stop it now. If you do not do this, you will forever lose the independent animal-loving voter. You will lose the women. You will lose millennials.
Savage said he was lobbying the White House in urging for a reinstatement of the Obama-era ban on importation of “elephant trophies.” He described the Trump administration’s reversal of the ban as a “nightmare,” “travesty,” and “terrible mistake”:
URGENT! Trump opposes but his FISH AND WILDLIFE DOES NOT! BABY ELEPHANTS STILL FAIR GAME
— Michael Savage (@ASavageNation) March 7, 2018
— Michael Savage (@ASavageNation) March 7, 2018
“I’ve been lobbying since last night at 11 o’clock with the White House directly, begging the president to reverse this travesty,” said Savage. “Not only because it is the morally right thing to do, but because on a Machiavellian level, unless he reverses this travesty, he will lose women and millennials in 2018, and then he will lose the White House forever.”
Biblical concepts of humanity’s dominion over the earth mandate “compassion” and “care” for animals, said Savage. “A primary core of our culture is compassion and care – not only for the weak and the poor, but also for our defenseless animal friends.”
“These are one of the most beautiful creatures on the planet,” declared Savage. “God put them on the planet for us to protect, not to butcher.” Killing elephants for sport is an “insult to God,” he added.
Humans are the only animals who kill for sport, Savage said. “As a little boy … I didn’t like to see animals being slaughtered, even then. I don’t mind a person eating an animal for food, but I didn’t like people who just kill animals for fun because even animals don’t do that.” He added, “It’s extremely rare, my father told me, in the animal world – if ever seen at all – that an animal will kill another animal for sport. He said man is the only animal that does that, and that was the beginning of my political evolution.”
Chinese demand for ivory underwrites elephant hunting, according to the radio host:
[Elephant hunting is] due to the scum in China who buy ivory. The vermin lowlifes in China are the real problem here. You talk about end users, talk about the subhuman morons in China who buy ivory thinking that they’re super middle class for showing ivory on their shelves. What a disgrace. … If you let these cowards rapaciously slaughter elephants and you let the vermin who trade in ivory sell it to the creatures in China who are throwbacks to the 1950s in America – the ugly bourgeoisie who display ivory like it’s something to be proud of – we are losing a piece not only of ourselves, but of the earth and everything in it. In other words, we are insulting God by doing a thing like that.
“You can’t save America by crapping on the earth,” Savage said, framing conservationism as an essential component of political conservatism.
Savage continued his critique on his show on Wednesday. “I woke up to an absolute horror. I felt that someone had punched me in the gut when I saw that the ban on bringing elephant and other wildlife trophies into the United States was secretly lifted for hunters on a ‘case-by-case’ basis,” he said. “I felt betrayed. I had spent a dinner talking to the president about environmental issues, and especially this, and this is what happened anyway.”
On Wednesday, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Trump still opposes big game hunting for “trophies.” In November, Trump described such hunting as a “horror show” via Twitter:
Big-game trophy decision will be announced next week but will be very hard pressed to change my mind that this horror show in any way helps conservation of Elephants or any other animal.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 19, 2017
Savage claimed to have been told by “primary presidential voices” that Trump had decided to reverse the DOI’s decision after listening to the radio show host’s appeal:
I sent Mr. Trump the article I wrote, saying, “Mr. President, you’re just plain wrong.” People in the administration told me personally the president received this information yesterday. … I’m here to tell you today that we prevailed. Our message was heard by Mr. Trump, and according to primary presidential voices, elephants, lions and other so-called trophy kills will be banned again from entering the United States. I’m told Mr. Trump reversed the Fish and Wildlife order and restored the Obama-era order for these animals to be protected.
“The president has to step in here and by executive order completely curtail trophy imports for this to stop,” said Savage. “I don’t think he’s done that.”
Follow Robert Kraychik on Twitter @rkraychik.