Opinion: I’ve got the perfect job for Donald Trump right here
In a few days, the queen of England -- “Elizabeth the Second, by the grace of God of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland” and so forth -- becomes the longest-reigning monarch in the even longer history of that sceptered isle.
And thus it came to me -- what a perfect job for Donald Trump.
Don’t panic, Britannia. I don’t mean he’s throne material, except perhaps inside his own over-coiffed head.
But Britain does something its American stepchild does not. It divides leadership between the head of government – the prime minister, who attends to policy and politics – and the head of state -- the monarch, whose powers are extremely limited but whose public profile is, as Trump would say, “very, very huge.”
If voters decide to love Trump all the way to election day, here’s how we forestall disaster: Let Trump be our version of the queen, the head of state, essentially the Performer in Chief.
Elect someone else as head of government, someone deeply learned and subtle, full of statecraft and constitutional and global wisdom, all the presidential qualities Trump doesn’t possess.
But here’s where the United States would have to part company from the monarchical model.
The sovereign is supposed to be Britain’s superego, the person Britons like to imagine themselves to be, modest, polite, reserved.
With Trump on the job, our head of state would be the national id, strutting, bragging, posturing, the nation’s official ribbon-cutter, selfie-mugger and glad-hander.
We’d have two inaugurations: the traditional, solemn one for the head of government on the Capitol’s west front, with the nuclear football moving to the new head of government’s side at the last syllable of the “so help me God” oath -- and then a Trump inaugural.
He could be sworn in by the “great” Judge Judy at Trump Towers in New York, with an enormous balloon drop, followed by a “classy” party.
While the head of government beavers away in the real Oval Office, Trump can operate out of a West Wing replica-but-better one that’s set up as a full TV studio.
On his world-leader peregrinations, Trump could thumb-wrestle Vladimir Putin; by the end of the match maybe they’d both be shirtless and slamming back the Stoly. Trump may love pushing people’s buttons, but at least he wouldn’t have the authority to press any nuclear ones.
Trump could throw out the first ball of the World Series, and lay into the “losers” afterward. He’d let the head of government use Air Force One, because, after all, it’s older than anyone Trump would marry, right? Instead, his own personal 757, the one with the gold-plated seat belts, would ferry him from gig to gig, his needs ministered to by former Miss Universe flight attendants, his airborne guests drinking Trump-labeled water and wine and eating food from Trump’s Michelin-starred restaurant.
Over the next four years, Trump could show up at state fairs and the Oscars, treat world leaders to games of golf at his several resorts, sing “New York, New York” at state dinners, make leering remarks about the first spouses of the world – and all the while everyone will know that, mercifully, nothing he does carries the weight of law.
The British monarch reigns for life – in Elizabeth II’s case, 63 years and counting. At the end of four years, though, American voters weary of Trump’s antics can turn the tables and tell him “You’re fired!” And as he walks out the White House’s south portico for the last time, he can deliver a legacy-making, classic Trumpian all-American salute: the middle finger.
Follow Patt Morrison on Twitter @pattmlatimes
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