By Arnold Dodge
Given Donald Trump’s inexorable rise, it seems more likely than ever he will not only win the nomination, but he will become the next President of the United States. Predicting eight years of a Trump presidency—and why not two terms, when he has defied all prognostications to date?—one wonders what a lasting tribute to the mark he makes on history would look like. And so with that in mind, what more appropriate location for the story of his life than the presidential library dedicated in his honor?
Let’s imagine the prospect:
Before President Trump gives his approval for the groundbreaking of this monument, he insists that every detail reflect his motto: “There will be no political correctness in this administration.” The architects and designers have their marching orders.
The building, the tallest of the Trump towers, is a 1,000-foot replica of the White House, replete with machine gun turrets and a moat, additions added during Trump’s presidency. The site, located on what was once JFK Airport, boasts 100 acres of manicured grounds and showcases a resplendent 18-hole golf course. The chaos that reigns as air traffic is diverted? A “minor inconvenience,” in the words of the president.
Visitors enter through the Canyon of Hero, a grand tribute to The Donald, a 10-story, cathedral-inspired space, the centerpiece a 60-foot hologram of the former president wagging his finger and sneering, the signature stance known ’round the world.
One of the most impressive galleries, The Last Laugh, features a massive section of concrete wall, tangled rebar protruding from the sides, testimony to the failed build-a-wall initiative. As they make their way around it, visitors are greeted by a 50-foot billboard, a replica of the one erected at the border: “Mexicans beware: No rapists or drug dealers allowed!” At the official ceremony unveiling the sign the president quipped: “Go f**k yourself, Vicente Fox.” Trump had the last laugh.
The next showcase—Nuke ’em—illuminates the Donald’s dramatic display of US military might. A giant screen runs a continuous CNN video loop of a Wolf Blitzer interview with President Trump. Throughout it, Trump’s forefinger hovers over a large red button. Many regarded his declaration to America’s enemies, “Don’t make me do it,” as lunacy but not his followers; they thought it was brilliant, especially when he incinerated an archipelago off the coast of the Philippines.
Strolling through Misogynist’s Walkway, the visitor follows a path that winds around wax replicas of women publicly insulted by the president. The display was overseen by the president himself. Of the hundreds of women Trump targeted, he selected his favorite adversaries to represent them. The visages of Hillary Clinton, Elizabeth Warren, Megyn Kelly, Gloria Steinem, Michelle Obama, Angela Merkel and Mother Theresa are presented in unflattering, obsequious poses, Clinton on her knees the most controversial.
As one tours the room, Trump’s voice can be heard in the background, repeating one of his favorite retorts: “If God wanted women to be in charge, he wouldn’t have given them those gorgeous gams.” To anyone offended by the exhibit a prominently displayed quote from Trump reminds them: “Nobody loves women as much as I do.”
The You’re Fired photo gallery is a whimsical look back at the first few months of Trump’s presidency, when he mistakenly thought he could dismiss everybody who disagreed with him. Lining the walls are photos of U.S. Supreme Court justices, the Speaker of the House, the U.S. Senate majority leader, heads of state, the Secretary General of the UN, the Pope, thousands of public school children, college students and many more.
Soon guests enter The Lemmings Chamber where, through the wizardry of advanced laser technology, they witness a reenactment of a watershed moment in the saga of the Trump ascension when the die-hard loyalists, those who stood by The Donald from the beginning, made the ultimate sacrifice. Known in popular culture as the Gang of 50, these true believers jumped to their deaths from the roof of the Trump Hotel Las Vegas. They just could not go on when early returns on Election Night made it appear that Hillary Clinton might best their champion. Trump’s denial notwithstanding, it was said that the president shed a tear when viewing the exhibit for the first time.
The last stop on the tour takes visitors into a plush auditorium executed in the French Baroque style. When the seats are full, the lights dim, the music swells and the inimitable voice of President Trump echoes through the public space. On the large screen at the front of the hall, images appear of a confident, swaggering, defiant commander-in-chief, with banners overhead proclaiming: “Making America Great Again.” And once again the president delivers the opening remarks from his second inaugural address, the speech he calls his “Gettysburg moment:”
“My fellow Americans, the last four years have been amazing. I told you from the beginning that I had an outsize manhood. You saw it in action during my first term. I had the balls—and for those of you politically correct freaks out there, yes, I used the word ‘balls’—to get the job done. How great am I? I’m a billionaire, I’ve got a dynamite-looking wife, I use the best words, and I’m the leader of the free world. Sure, I busted the budget. Sure, I made America the laughing stock of the world. Sure, I didn’t get any legislation passed. Small change compared to my enforcing voter ID laws. Remember, if I wanted to, I could declare myself president for life. But, really, you know me. I’m the humblest person you’re ever going to meet.”
As guests leave, they browse the souvenir shop where they can purchase Trump steaks, Trump shoes, Trump hand towels, Trump garter belts and much more Trump merchandise. They are politely asked to ignore any glue left on the back of the items. (Trump’s people deny that the store clerks have been directed to pull off the “Made in China” stickers.)
(Author’s note: Delete this column if Donald Trump actually becomes the 45th president. That’s no laughing matter.)
Arnold Dodge, PhD, is an associate professor of education at the C.W. Post campus of Long Island University, where he serves as the chairperson of the Department of Educational Leadership and Administration. Dr. Dodge is a former teacher, principal and superintendent. In his 45th year in education, he is particularly focused on the effects of high-stakes testing on schools.