The role model
All over America, teens have a new role model. Become president and you only have to work an hour or two a day. The rest is Executive Time.
You don’t have to read briefing papers— someone will sum them up for you. If the briefers are boring, you can dismiss them until next week, next month or forever!
If someone says something about you that you don’t like, call them a liar. If they have a government job, fire them.
Demand loyalty but don’t give it.
If you shut down government for nothing and disrupt a million lives for no reason, you don’t even have to say you are sorry. You can hint you might do it again if you don’t get your way.
If many of your closest campaign aides have been indicted or pled guilty or are going to jail, just say you didn’t know what was going on.
If your country’s most dangerous enemy interfered with the national election, say you don’t believe the 17 intelligence agencies that unanimously agreed that happened.
Raise the specter of a new arms race.
If you were found to have plotted with Russian leaders to build a monstrous new Trump Tower in Moscow and your aides discussed dropping economic sanctions on Russia, you can say your hands are clean because nothing actually got built and Congress refused to let you drop sanctions.
You can say nice things about Kim Jong Un, a Saudi prince who orders American journalists butchered and Vladimir Putin, the invader of countries, on the premise that “we should all get along” and “we understand each other.”
You can lease from the federal government the old post office in the nation’s capital, turn it into a pricey hotel and expect foreign leaders and lobbyists and anybody who wants to influence you to stay there and pay hundreds of dollars each night. You will make millions.
You don’t have to release your tax records as every modern president has before you because you just don’t want people prying into your financial affairs.
You can order your White House chef, a government employee, to make whatever you want for dinner whether it’s bad for you or not, because someone who works for you will change your records to make you taller so officially you’re no longer considered obese.
If you go to boring international meetings or ceremonies, you can just leave. As president, you define what is rude and what is not. Or you can try.
You can give a State of the Union speech with such wise or baffling statements as, “If there is going to be peace and legislation, there can’t be war and investigation. It just doesn’t work that way.” And then you can boast about how much legislation has been passed during your two years in office—despite numerous special prosecutor investigations.
You can spurn as “ridiculous” and “partisan” those investigations. Investigations such as what happened to $107 million raised for Trump’s inaugural fund and why has there been no official accounting? What happened with the Trump Foundation, now ordered disbanded by the state of New York? During the transition between Trump’s campaign and his becoming president, there were many contacts with Russia. Why? What about allegations of massive tax evasion by the Trump Organization, still owned by the president? Did Trump campaign officials conspire with Russia to smear Hillary Clinton and disrupt the election? Did Trump obstruct justice when he fired the FBI director? Did Trump tamper with witnesses?
Wow, kids. What an incredible example for you!
Ann McFeatters is an op-ed columnist for Tribune News Service.