Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Future Schadenfreude:
"They Won't Take My Calls"

Trump's post-presidency will be sadder and more pathetic than his presidency. His presidential library will be neither presidential nor a library. His memoir, if someone writes one for him, will be dreadful — ghostwritten, poorly written, replete with falsehoods and errors, and bereft of insights and useful information. His presidential papers will contain such statements as "Horseface"; "trade wars are good, and easy to win"; "a very stable genius"; and "your favorite President, me!" No mainstream public figure will want to be associated with his legacy.

In February, 157 scholars ranked Trump as the third-worst president in U.S. history. And it's not just the eggheads who disapprove of him. According to Gallup, 54 percent of Americans disapprove of his presidency. Trump has averaged the lowest approval rating of any president in history. Unlike his predecessors, Trump doesn't need a war or a recession to be unpopular — he just needs himself. And unlike his predecessors, Trump won't improve his public standing as a private citizen.


In the early republic, ex-presidents returned to private life. That changed with John Quincy Adams, who broke with tradition and entered the U.S. House of Representatives. Over time, ex-presidents began to monetize their experience. In 1885, Ulysses S. Grant sold his memoirs for $450,000. Nixon received a $2.5 million advance for his. Clinton made millions of dollars giving speeches.

Trump will try to profit, too, of course. He already runs an online store on his personal website, where you can purchase a MAGA bathing suit for $55 and a "WITCH HUNT" coffee mug for $30.


But the market for Trump regalia will shrink when he's out of office. Of his poorly educated supporters, how many will spend $30 on a memoir they won't read? Who will pay to hear Trump blabber about nothing when he already does that for free? Won't people tire of him?

They already are. On his wife's birthday last year, Trump called Fox & Friends and rambled for so long that the hosts didn't know how to get rid of him. After waiting patiently for 30 minutes, Brian Kilmeade politely informed the unhinged man on the other line that he probably had "a billion things" to do that day, his being president and all.

After Trump leaves office and has fewer things to do, people will have fewer reasons to listen to him. Ex-President Trump will call Fox & Friends every morning, but they will ignore him. Instead of ranting on air, he will leave voicemails for Steve Doocy's assistant's intern.
Sounds good, but if Trump ups & dies in office it'd work for me too.

[The Week. Image & caption not part of original item.]

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