Imagine the Donald Trump Presidential Library
Presidential libraries are relatively new to the United States with the first one established in 1941 for Franklin Roosevelt when he proposed to leave his presidential papers to the public (instead of keeping them as private property).
The people of the United States generally bought into the idea that the sitting President’s documents, artifacts, and gifts of state were public property so presidential libraries have been built for every president since Herbert Hoover (his being opened in 1962 when he was 88 years old).
Established in each president’s home state, the presidential library also has museum exhibits that showcase the former president’s personal, professional, and political life. There are 13 official presidential libraries managed by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). Obama’s presidential library will open in Illinois in 2021 although this facility will not be part of NARA and therefore be the first Presidential library since Calvin Coolidge to not be federally funded.
Two years into President Trump’s administration, I can’t help but think about our 45th President’s presidential library. There’s no question he will have a very grand monument to himself and my guess is that the newest addition to the Presidential libraries will have the following characteristics:
- Trump will have the biggest presidential library ever and probably figure out a way to have federal funds (tax payer dollars) pay for it but if these funds come up short, he will find donors because it’s all about him. New Yorkers will fight this project because they hate him which will probably translate into the lowest attendance of native New Yorkers of any Presidential library.
- The entrance hall to the Trump Presidential Library and Museum will display all of Trump’s golf club bags that he used at his private golf clubs while President.
- Gaudy will take on new meaning in the design of the Trump Presidential Library and Museum. Think Louis XIV, Elvis, and Russian oligarchs in an orgy of gold and you’ll get the idea.
- A wall (gold, of course) will surround the Donald Trump Presidential Library and Museum because one way or another, the Donald will get his wall.
- The cafe will serve food from Trump’s four (4) major food groups: McDonald’s, Kentucky Fried Chicken, pizza and diet coke.
- There will be no books in Trump’s library because he favored Fox News over books. But in all fairness, a presidential library really refers to the documents of the President. Given that Trump communicated via Twitter, the Trump Presidential Library and Museum will have a continuous Twitter feed of his cringe-worthy communications.
- Trump’s Library and Museum will no doubt give new meaning to family values (and the conservatives who helped elect him) with his three marriages although very little mention of the ex-wives (or current wife) will make it into the library because it’s not about them or how he treated them; it’s all about him.
- Background music will be “Oh Lord, It’s Hard to be Humble” with Trump’s voice saying the words: winning, terrific, amazing, tremendous, huge, lightweight, bad, stupid, weak, loser, smart, tough, rapists and murderers, zero, you’re fired, and I
- The museum gift shop will have life-sized blow up dolls of the Donald along with gilded holiday ornaments, stuffed toys in the shape of gold walls, and caps with his favorite message “Make America Great.”
- The audiovisual room will have a continuous run of the Donald commenting about the press, women, and anyone else who dared to question his principles or lack thereof.
- To gain entrance, people will have to show a picture identification card proving they are American citizens.
So, imagine taking your kids on a tour of presidential libraries and museums in New York: stopping in Hyde Park to see the Franklin D Roosevelt Library and Museum and then moving on to New York and the golden arches of the Trump Library and Museum in New York City. Could there be a greater contrast? In all honesty, both men were flawed, as we all are but in the end when you ask which of the two did what was best for the country (as opposed to for himself), my guess is the answer isn’t Trump.