Dear Don: You’re Going to Love Being an Ex-President

Photo by Donald Teel on Unsplash

Dear President Trump:

I know the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune have brought you low this week as you lose the Presidency to Joe Biden… by several million real votes and a few dozen Electoral College ones. Still, I’m writing to let you know that you have got it all wrong: it’s time to put down the legal challenges and prepare for what will probably be the best years of your life starting at 12:01pm, January 20th.

You are going to absolutely love being a former President of the United States. I’m a Democrat who, frankly, has never liked you at all, but I am excited to see what you do next. I know you might be suspicious of me, so let me preview for you the wonderful world ahead in which you keep everything you love and get so much more in return.

You Still Get Secret Service Protection

Provided complimentary by the American taxpayers: you, Melania, and Barron (while a minor) will continue to receive armed guards, motorcades, and all the pomp that comes with being escorted around by the fine women and men of the United States Secret Service. With it you’ll be able to skip TSA lines, shutdown any highways you’re on, and continue to exude an air of importance to your adoring fans.

You Still Get a Salary, Staff, Office, Health Care, and Free Mail

We would not send you out into the harsh, bleak world you gave us to fend for yourself, sir. To start off your journey you should know you will now be receiving a $219,200 per year pension as a little thank you gift from the people of the United States.

Then there’s the aides! Although at a greatly reduced budget than what the West Wing provided, you can hire a staffer or two to manage your post-Presidential life on the house. The government will also pay for all expenses associated with your transition to private life. From bubble wrapping your tanning bed for your movers to shredding any documents that implicate you in obstruction of justice: it’s covered.

Believe it or not you won’t have to pay rent for wherever you end up either. Under the Former Presidents Act we will allow you to tell us where you want an office, how big you want it (presumably: huge), how nice you want it (see: painted in gold)… and you can tell your new landlord to send the bill to Joe!

On top of all that, you will receive free health care via the military health network for the rest of your life and you retain franking privileges. What are franking privileges? Free mail, Mr. President! You never have to buy a stamp again for anything.

You Still Have To Be Called “Mr. President.”

It’s not really written in stone, but as a courtesy everyone still has to refer to you as “Mr. President.” With prestige like that you may feel like you never left office!

You Get A “Free” Library

I’m going out on a limb here but my guess is you aren’t a bookworm. Nevertheless, the time has come for you to build your very own Presidential Library. Traditionally the funds are raised by private donors, the library is built and dedicated, and then you turn it over to the National Archives system to actually manage. My advice: have it paid for by Russia to really trigger the Libs. I’ve included a preliminary design idea for your library below that I think will slap.

Red Square, Moscow. Photo by Felipe Simo on Unsplash

Rallies and Paid Speeches Are In Your Future

Mr. President, I come bearing fantastic news. You can still have all the rallies you want and now without the bummer of questions from the press. In fact, may I recommend you start charging for admission. Even just a $5 or $10 ticket in a big, mask-less stadium will yield tens of thousands of dollars a pop. Plus — if I know you — I feel like “VIP” and “Super Deluxe VIP Freedom” packages might yield even more from your most ardent followers. Tip them upside down and turn out their pockets, Donny.

When you’re not headlining in diverse locations throughout the former Confederacy, you would do well to avail yourself of paid speaking gigs. It’s not clear that you’ll be welcome in the traditional forums that invite former Presidents like major corporate brands, academia, and charities, but I suspect you will swing a pretty big bat with all-American light beer brands, owners of Ford F-350s, and coal mining conglomerates. Best of all, when you avoid taxes on all that income it’s an even bigger prize. And honestly, if you and Kanye did a joint tour… I will be there before you can say “plea bargain.”

For Some Unknown Reason You’re Now Allowed To Address The Senate

It has never really been done with any significance, but under Rule XIX Section 8 of the United States Senate, you can address Senators on any matter as long as you give proper written notice. You might have to send your request to either Mitch or Chuck depending on the outcome of the Georgia runoffs, but that should not stop you from translating your tweets into bizarre rants on the Senate floor. It’s your right to do so, Mr. President!

Other Entitlements Headed Your Way

You know those daily intelligence briefings you rarely had? Well, now that you have more free time you will be glad to know that you mysteriously will remain entitled to daily intelligence briefings despite being, yourself, a huge security risk.

No need for life insurance to cover funeral costs either, the Military District of Washington has you covered. In the event of your (timely) demise, you will get all the trimmings of a state funeral. My advice would be to throw off the shackles of this mortal life while a Democrat is in the Oval Office so that they are forced to say nice things about you in public, much to their chagrin.

You Don’t Have To Ride Into The Sunset

Your tweets might be getting censored a little more without the protection of public interest, but you’re still one of the biggest names in tweeting. Product endorsements for reverse mortgages, walk-in bathtubs, and Life Alert alone will yield millions for you.

Find a good ghostwriter to pen your memoir (I’ve Been Treated Very Unfairly by Donald J. Trump) and you can bet those pages will sell. The advance should be able to cover all your legal fees when several United States Attorneys, DOJ special prosecutors, the Attorney-General of New York, and Melania hit you with so many court orders your head will look like an Orange Julius.

Meanwhile, from the elegantly-appointed confines of Mar-a-Lago and/or Leavenworth, you can plot your political comeback! A lot of people are going to whisper “Trump 2024” in your ear but that is a sucker’s bet. You should set your sights on being Governor of Florida in 2022 and tell Ron DeSantis to get lost. Everything I know about the Sunshine State and your win there this month suggest that you would be embraced with open arms. It would also give the rest of us the cover we need to finally ask Florida to just — for the love of God — secede from the Union.

It’s time to return to monetizing your name while continuing to bask in the warm glow of the cult you created. All of this comes without the nuisance of actually being the (nominal) President of the United States. No press briefings, no congressional inquiries, no damage to the Emoluments Clause from your hotel interests. For a man of your work ethic, I think you’re really going to enjoy your ex-Presidency far more than the hassle of leadership.

Coloradan, American, Democrat… in that order. Husband, father to two daughters, and policy nerd.

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