Mr. President-Elect, here’s the thing about the thing with Taiwan…

2016 December 5
by Mike Parmele

Evening Mr. President-Elect,

So, first things first, I saw that episode too and I’m glad to see that you’re doing SOME studying in preparation to become President. However, I have to tell you that I don’t think you can pull this one off. Due respect, the fictional President in this contrived controversy about Taiwan was much pretend smarter than you are. Just so we’re on the same page here, they wrote the script of this episode so that it would work out alright and everyone would retain a tight grip on their horses.

This, again just so everyone is looking at the same playing field, is reality.

While China (remember my admonition about your security deposit) probably isn’t interested in going to war over a phone call, the estimation of which you correctly made (truth is, I don’t think you considered it at all, because you don’t get this is real); but we’d like you to show your work next time. I don’t think your math and my math explaining why China isn’t bombing because of you, yet, match. Don’t get me wrong, I suppose we can keep this thing between the pipes for four years with you “missing it good” (golf term that people who play by the rules understand, you’ve never hit it bad, sir – because you cheat).

I’ll also admit something here; I have to guard myself against you “missing it good” or stumbling on some decision with which I happen to agree (again, I’ll need to see your work next time because WHY and HOW one does things matters). I mean, ultimately, I agree with you – you took a phone call which, I’m certain, felt astounding to take. Yet another reminder that you won and that your opinion and your impulsiveness are going to rule the day. By the way, about that limitless power you think you’ll hold? You might be interested to know that President Truman – no sir, THAT President Truman – referred to the Oval Office as “the Crown Jewel of the American penal system.” Owing to the large gulf between the reasoning abilities of the Founding Fathers and yours, my money is still on the Constitution at this point; but please don’t take that as a challenge or a dare.

I admit, though, that it’s a phone call and it’s a good thing to rattle the status quo and remind those on the frontier of liberty, much closer to the threats of tyranny (right, sir? You’ve promised.) than you or I, that we are with them and encourage them to keep up the good fight. I acknowledge that you, astoundingly, are the one person on the planet who can take that phone call, say what you said, and get away with it (Again, I don’t think we agree on why that is, but we don’t need to…for now).

I would like to ask a question, when you get a chance. I know you’re busy, but it’s only Monday night, there is an entire week before Baldwin makes fun of you again – but only if you’ve got time:

Why is it that, had President Obama made the same deal with United Technologies (we’re grown men here, you’ve advocated calling things by their names) in order to save fewer than 50% of the jobs he claimed he’d save, you’d malign him for “picking winners and losers” (to be fair, you’d do it much more crudely with talk about Kenyan Socialism and sneaky urban people, but you’ve called for unity, so I’m giving you the benefit of the doubt) and “intervening in the market” (ibid.); why is it that when you travel to Indiana and agree to give United Technologies millions of dollars and the “trust me” about future tax policy, you are the savior of the American Worker, harkening back to your father’s habit of collecting nails across his job sites ($20 says he was a bit of a dick to you, but was an honorable man – you can pay me after golf), a smart businessman making shrewd business decisions (As always, with other people’s money – this isn’t your money either, Mr. President-Elect, it’s ours), and sending a message to the world that “America is open for business” (sorry, I just can’t with the caps lock, it’s unbecoming of the office – TRUST ME)?

Think about it and get back to me, I know that’s a lot of stuff to attempt to unpack and not even consider before rejecting it outright.

But let’s get back to the point of your phone call with the President of Taiwan (I get to say “President of Taiwan” you don’t; I know, it’s another one of those words that you can’t say that other people say – but at least this time it’s not because you’re white): your remarkable continuing conflicts of interest and apparent ineptitude in staffing your government. Your EPA “landing team” (we’ll talk about that more later) hasn’t landed at the EPA, meaning, they have not been in contact with the EPA. The clock is ticking, Mr. President-Elect.

Trust me, this is still as much a shock to me as I’m sure it is for you; but tick tock, Clarice.

I know that you have said that all of the conflicts of interest will be accommodated (or not, “the President can’t have conflicts of interest”) by January 20th, noon. I also know that you will become President at that hour on that day whether you actually accommodate those conflicts or not.

What I don’t know, is how you’re going to get around the appearance of a conflict of interest. I say that because, until you, most Presidents-Elect at least have made the pretense of not being personally corrupted by private interest upon entering the office.

I’ll tell you this, though, the only actual way I can see you accommodating the appearance of conflicts of interest in the manner in which the Founding Fathers envisioned would be to sell it all, take the name plates off the buildings, steaks, water, wine, ties, condos, bankruptcy notices, lawsuit filings, criminal investigative papers…all of it; Hand it over to a guy you’ve never met before and say, “I’ll see you in four years (Let’s not talk like that yet, shall we? One term at a time).”

Nothing in the public record of your life suggests you would do such a thing – sell all of it, down to the first “Trump Tower” cufflinks you keep in a drawer to play with in your fort at night; the first model (of a building, Donald, focus) that had your name penciled in; all of it – but that doesn’t mean you can’t do it. No one expects you to sell it all, you’re not the type. I don’t know who would be, except many Presidents before you, almost as a matter of course. But you’re not the type. Funny thing about types, though, you don’t have to be the type of person who would do a thing, to be the person who does a thing.

It would be a quality golf shot, Mr. Trump, if you happen to be the person who does a thing while not having been the type of person who would do a thing.

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