Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Dear Mr. President: A Question You Haven't Been Asked

Dear Mr. President,

You've held some press conferences, given some interviews, and you tweet a lot.

But I haven't heard this question asked of you, and given the latest of your bizarre comments, I'm wondering if you'll answer it for me:

Why did you want this job?

See, I ask because you've had a tough 6 months, and there's no sign of it letting up. Let's review:

That claim was refuted by many outlets, including the National Park Service, which released photos - 2 months later! - to prove that your claim was, indeed, false.

You had Spicer battle the press almost every day. Not just for that claim, but for others as well. I would list them, but they're too numerous for one post.

Do you really believe that? I mean, Ronald Reagan was shot. John F. Kennedy and Abraham Lincoln were assassinated. Bill Clinton's sex life was dragged through the mud. Countless other politicians have been fodder for partisan press, but you believe you've topped the scales?

  • Your presidency has been overshadowed by the accusations of collusion with Russia to meddle in the election. Mr. President, there are reasons for that.

From the first day of your primary campaign, you took shots at every country, and every person. From leaders to your fellow candidates, you belittled, bullied, mocked, and maligned pretty much everyone we can name: except Vladimir Putin or Russia. You've refrained from saying a negative word about Russia, for over 2 years.

You even said the United States could be compared to Russia - in a baffling interview in which you refused to call Vladimir Putin a terrorist, and said, "Do you think our country's so innocent?" when asked to comment on Putin's known regime of killing.

  • You've stated that you didn't know healthcare was so complicated. Due respect, Sir, I've never held public office, but even I know that healthcare is a profoundly complex matter. And you've been fighting to get healthcare resolved for the entirety of your presidency so far, with no success. It makes you look weak, and it reflects badly on the party you have deeply divided.

  • You've made the baffling statement that you thought the job would be easier than your old life. Are you kidding me? Your old life consisted of living in your glamorous New York City tower, golfing all the time, hosting a reality television show, making deals, attending society events,  and spending time in your resorts at Mar-A-Lago in Florida and Bedminster, New Jersey.

And yet, you thought running the United States of America - dealing with every foreign power in the world, precarious situations in a time of war and terrorism, having to comport yourself with diplomatic dignity, making decisions that affect over 320,000,000 people in their everyday lives, balancing a budget for the entire country, fending off press that can be less than kind, and living in a virtual fishbowl 24/7/365 - would be easier than playing TV host and golf?

Clearly, you had no idea before you took the job - or after, either.

Chatting with some members before a recent round of golf, he explained his frequent appearances: "That White House is a real dump."

So, given your obvious unhappiness with the job, the people, the visibility, the restrictions, and even the People's House you were given to enjoy for the duration of your term, I ask you again:

Why did you want this job?

I have a theory. I believe you wanted to win. My theory is based on the fact that you have continued, for the past 6 months, to extol the virtues of your Electoral College win (even bragging to a crowd of Boy Scouts, whose Jamboree is supposed to be a non-political event, and who were not old enough to have cast a single vote).

My theory is, as well, based on your penchant to want to have the best, know the best, and ultimately  be The Best, in every single thing you discuss.

My theory is also based on the fact that you continue to hold rallies - ostensibly for the 2020 re-election campaign you are planning (despite the shambles in which your current term is). You have yet another rally planned for this week, going on as though you haven't lost your Press Secretary, Communications Director, and Chief of Staff all within the past 10 days. To be fair, in a stunning lack of self-awareness, you did summarize it as "a great day."

If you did want to win so badly, it was not the race to enter.

See, the Presidency is not a race to be won with election. It is not a race to the finish line. There is no gold medal.

The Presidency is a race that starts after the win. After those votes have been counted, victory has been declared, your opponent has conceded - that's when the race begins.

A race to establish a network of trusted individuals who will support and advise you.

A race to establish a relationship of trust between the American people and their soon-to-be new leader.

A race to formulate a detailed plan on how you will now carry out the promises you made, the promises that got you the job you were elected to do.

A race to plan everything, from the transition, to the first act as president, to the subsequent priorities you have laid out to your staff, your Cabinet, and the World.

The race begins in earnest after you have said those 35 sacred words in your oath of office, delivered your inaugural speech, and waved to the last of the crowd on the day of celebration.

The race begins after you've come back to your new home (dump or not) following the inaugural balls at which you have received the adoration of your followers.

The race begins on January 21st, the day after you have taken office, and you are now faced with the myriad balls to juggle for 4 years.

And the race does not end until you have left the presidency, boarded the plane to take you home, and return to your life as a private citizen.

I don't believe you had a firm grasp on that concept, Mr. Trump. I don't believe you had the slightest clue of what you were going to face when you first walked into the awe-inspiring Oval Office and sat behind that venerated desk to put your pen to your first order.

I don't believe you've ever worked with others you didn't domineer; Congress is not to be domineered. The men and women of Congress are your colleagues, and are to be your support network with whom you have to work to Get Things Done.

I don't believe you have ever had to answer to anyone but yourself, and now, you answer to over 320,000,000 Americans, countless world leaders, and citizens of Planet Earth, who are all affected by every action you take.

I don't believe you had any inkling that the race was not to be won in an election, but that your proverbial gold medal might be waiting at the end of your term, when history would judge you.

Some receive a shining gold medal of respect and admiration, success and historic acts.

Some never get any medal at all.

You are on a pathway to becoming a member of the latter group.

Only you can answer the question: why did you want this job?

And if you, as I suspect, wanted it for the wrong reasons?

Perhaps it's time to admit that you could win the election, but not the race, and cede your baton to the next guy to do better.

After all, wouldn't you be happier back in your old life, which was easier, and in which you lived in a palace, not a dump?

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