Dear Mr. President-Elect:
Here are a few things I think you need to know before January 20, 2017.
Congratulations on your victory, and what a nail-biter it must have been for you. I could go to sleep and learn in the morning. You couldn’t.
Many of the votes you received were anti-Hillary votes (and vice versa). You do not have a “mandate.” You lost the popular vote. Remember that. Humility is a virtue you’ve not had. But I hope you’ll get some. It’s a useful trait in a POTUS.
You are the COO of the USA. Chief Operating Officer. You aren’t CEO. The CEO is all 315 million of us. We, the people, are ulimtaely in charge. You are hired to keep things running. Every time a voter hits a pothole on an interstate highway, it’s your fault. If health care reform isn’t swift and seamless, you’ll get the blame. The things you do right? Well, those are just your job.
You are Commander-in-Chief of the military. Sort of. If you give an order that is illegal, it will NOT be carried out. So the lowest Pfc. can (Trump) you.
You have as much power as the Congress. Actually less, really, as anytime they get in a snit, they lie down and become the world’s most expensive speed bump. If they get really annoyed with you, they’ll toss you out on your (T)rump.Very publicly.
Remember, you only have a Republican Senate and House for two years. Someone else (maybe on the Hill) wants your job in 2020 and will make it his or her life’s work to make you look bad. Don’t give them the opportunity.
The Supremes are down one player. Appoint someone qualified. These people know that ‘stare decisis’ carries the day. The Supremes look to the law, written and litigated, for guidance. They are notoriously unpredictable. In the case of , say, Nitwits v. Trump, they don’t even have to hear the case, much less rule in your favor. They can “deny cert.” Ask your sister. She knows what ‘stare decisis’ and ‘denying cert’ means.
You are head of state and head of government. Both are full-time jobs. Don’t screw up either. If the USA becomes a laughingstock you’ll be out of a job in 2020 … at the latest. Oh, and bankruptcy may have worked for you, but it won’t work for the USA.
Don’t do retreads as advisers. They sank George W. Bush. Look outside the Beltway. Find a couple of Left Coast techies — they are building the future in ways you can’t imagine. A good leader listens more than he talks.
Appoint competent people. We don’t need foxes guarding henhouses. Look at highest salaried (non-appointed) people in an agency and consider elevating them to Secretary. Why? They know the most and aren’t beholden to anybody.
Take transition time to learn the real issues. Study binders every night. Some of your election promises can’t come true. The earth is not flat. Find good speechwriters to communicate realistic goals.
Don’t mess with the White House. You can return the Oval to its original federalist colors of blue and yellow. Leave your Louis the Last furniture at home. He was beheaded, remember? The White House is an American house filled with priceless American antiques.
Allay fears. Keep your rhetoric cool. Show up as Comforter-in-Chief. Don’t be a racist. Don’t “love women,” respect us. Cultivate people from all walks of life (the White House Staff) to give you unfiltered information.
Instead of cyber-bullying, Melania could work on the nation’s manners. She appears to have some. We need to climb out of our pit of crass, rude and lewd behavior. A person can think anything he wants, but he can’t say it and he sure can’t do it. Any further down on the ladder of civilization and we’re in chaos.
We, the people, need to up our game from belligerent ignorance to civil curiosity. Starting with you. This is reality, not reality TV. You can speak simply and clearly without belittling, demeaning and insulting people.
Sometime before January 21st, you may think you’re out of your league; that you aren’t a Lincoln or a Jefferson or a Truman. All good Presidents have that bleakest of epiphanies. But aspire to be wise, to be kind. Remember to let the other guy save face. Just put one foot in front of the other along the high road of the Presidency. Step. Breathe. Repeat. Keep looking behind you. If the American people are there, you’ll be fine. If they aren’t, you’re in deep trouble.
Good luck. Godspeed.