Congratulations, Mr. President-Elect

2016 November 22
by Mike Parmele

Well, sir, you did it. Congratulations on piecing together a rather surreal coalition across the moral spectrum.

I have to admit, I didn’t think you’d win. I thought that the system would hold together and you would be beaten just badly enough to really have to question your sanity if you didn’t accept the results. However, I also thought you could win. As people I spoke with over the last three weeks wrote you off, I would always respond, “this isn’t over.”

So, golfer to “golfer,” nice miss, Mr. President-Elect.

Now, that said. I hope that you have realized in the last week that this is for real. For whatever strange confluence of events in history, you will be the 45th President of the United States. I hope that has started to sink in. I hope that weighs on your soul, sir. You should be able to taste that by now. Fred Trump’s kid that got sent away to military school because he needed a good ass-kicking grew up to be President.

Please don’t misunderstand the above congratulations – I disagree with almost every position you have attempted to take, tactic you have employed, counsel you have kept, and word (even the true ones) you have uttered. Based upon my knowledge of your life and career, you are singularly incapable of comprehending the ship of State, much less steering her.

You, sir, are the very person the Founders had in mind when writing our Constitution. I suppose you are free to feel some pride in that as well, except, truth be told, they knew you’d be of less than stellar intellect and riding a wave of public anger. But I digress.

You are about to discover the straightjacket into which you are going to be placed for four years. Please don’t break the China while you rage against the dark in the residence at night; it will cost you your security deposit.

I don’t know if you know this, sir, but there are some sketchy people basking in your orbit. No, I’m not so negligent as to accuse you, directly, of Fascism. You’re not capable enough for all that. However, there are those who are sincere in their fascist beliefs who find you to be their empty vessel. These people seek to pour into you all of their hate, misguided views, and authoritarian ideals.

I implore you, please, resist these charlatans. You’ll know who I’m talking about because the charlatans will remind you of you, but you won’t think they’re as good at “business” as you. See, sir, that’s the thing; what you call “business” they call “remaking the world in their image.”

I understand that you most likely viewed this run for the Presidency as mostly masturbatory, seeking the adulation of those less than you, basking in their blind abeyance to your randomly assembled words which show not just a complete ignorance of, but a disdain for, the way the actual world works, the way history has unfolded, and any concept of intelligent political thought.

But here we are. You are the President-Elect and anyone who can string a complete sentence together is your critic. You didn’t get that, did you? You are the center of the ridicule universe.

- When the cast of “Hamilton” wants to scold your Vice President-Elect? They will. Too bad. You are, literally, the Man.

- When tens of thousands of refugees cry out not to be abandoned to the realities of realpolitik? They’re crying out to you. No, it’s not fair, but it comes with Marine One; part of the job.

- When the majority of Americans lament your election, that’s a burden you’re just going to have to bear. Damn Electoral College. You have no mandate, yet, you are President. We truly are a messed up country, aren’t we sir?

- When the press decries your lack of transparency, your conflicts of interest, your penchant for McDonald’s, your hair, your challenges with telling the truth, your framing of reality in direct opposition to all objective fact, that’s the price of the awesome view of the National Mall.

I understand why you might be confused. It comes from our system. You seek sycophancy, but our system guards against it. In their indelible wisdom (yes, the same ones which brought us the Electoral College and the Emoluments Clause *ahem*), our Founders decided to combine the Head of State with the Head of Government.

THAT truly is a sticky wicket.

You want to demand all the trappings of the Head of State, but you face the slings and arrows being the Head of Government as well. Feel free to curse Madison, Jefferson, Hamilton (see: above), and, above all else, President George Washington. He really screwed it up for the rest of you, didn’t he?

See, the thing is, you’ll NEVER be George Washington. I don’t just mean you won’t ever be the George Washington of history, the one we all remember from Second Grade: Cherry Tree, Wooden Teeth, Cannot Tell a Lie. I don’t fault you for that, no one lives up to myths, that’s how myths work.

No, I mean that you will never be the ACTUAL George Washington. Raised of actual gentlemanly stock, reared in the Wilderness, suffered losses and learned what it means to lead men whose lives depend on you.

Not possible.

Every day of your life has been play-acting compared to that.

President Washington actually did it.

He hewed a nation out of a backwater colony. Twice.

Do you know what he knew that you don’t? Sometimes, it’s not about winning; it’s about not losing. That’s how he won the Revolution, by not getting destroyed. You don’t get that, do you?

You don’t get that other people matter, that the opposition (in this context, that’d be me, sir) has a voice, a vote, and a choice of action. You don’t get that you can win the Presidency and yet, not a mandate (from the People, your employers, remember?).

I know that you don’t get it. From all the evidence, it is clear that you had no idea what you were getting yourself into. However, I’d refer you to a truly Trumpian legal concept: Caveat Emptor, “Let the Buyer Beware.” In your parlance, “tough shit, you won.”

So here’s how it’s going to go from here, sir.

You will play-act at being President of the United States.

I will repeatedly remind you that you have no idea what you’re doing and that, small hands and all, you have no clothes.

Leave a Reply

Note: You can use basic XHTML in your comments. Your email address will never be published.

Subscribe to this comment feed via RSS