Most of us have known about the “letters of recommendations” outgoing presidents leave for their successors. Though; I’ve neither heard nor seen any of the contents of those letters until now, my assumption was that they contain information not meant for the public, or contain reasons many of the promises the incoming cannot be met. Maybe parts of it fall well into that category, for it seems many “promises” the then candidates made on their campaign trails never see the light of day.
However; at least parts of President Obama’s letter have been publicized in the past two days by many media outlets, revealing words of encouragement and advice that any sane man would both appreciate and follow, from an outgoing president.
Dear Mr. President –
Congratulations on a remarkable run. Millions have placed their hopes in you, and all of us, regardless of party, should hope for expanded prosperity and security during your tenure.
This is a unique office, without a clear blueprint for success, so I don’t know that any advice from me will be particularly helpful. Still, let me offer a few reflections from the past 8 years.
First, we’ve both been blessed, in different ways, with great good fortune. Not everyone is so lucky. It’s up to us to do everything we can (to) build more ladders of success for every child and family that’s willing to work hard.
Second, American leadership in this world really is indispensable. It’s up to us, through action and example, to sustain the international order that’s expanded steadily since the end of the Cold War, and upon which our own wealth and safety depend.
Third, we are just temporary occupants of this office. That makes us guardians of those democratic institutions and traditions — like rule of law, separation of powers, equal protection and civil liberties — that our forebears fought and bled for. Regardless of the push and pull of daily politics, it’s up to us to leave those instruments of our democracy at least as strong as we found them.
And finally, take time, in the rush of events and responsibilities, for friends and family. They’ll get you through the inevitable rough patches.
Michelle and I wish you and Melania the very best as you embark on this great adventure, and know that we stand ready to help in any ways which we can.
Good luck and Godspeed,
Now, personally, had I received such a letter from anyone with the experience and credentials of President Obama, not only would I read it, I would memorize and recall it daily in an attempt to follow the suggested outlines of success. The letter is not just a guide towards decency for all human beings, but to a successful role as the nation’s leader.
First Point of advice: Building Ladders to Success: Use the gift of wealth and influence we have that many of the world will never see to build ladders for others to rise to success.
Sadly; the only ladder Trump has built is the ladder to Hell for the U.S. Every effort Trump exerts is an effort to achieve a negative outcome for us all, placing us at the foot of that ladder, holding it steady while he, all alone in his own world, climbs that ladder, shitting on us all the way up to the top.
In his arrogance; an arrogance so absolute, so utterly extreme, Trump’s incapable of taking advice, incapable, of listening to any who have gone before him and learned the lessons from which he could benefit; he’s incapable of understanding that there are many, many who have gone before him who can guide him.
Instead, he took the opportunity to show his clownish, juvenile view of all who, in his mind, are beneath him (all other human beings), waving the letter mocking its sender as though it was a love letter between two lovers and he’d discovered it and wished to amuse and make himself feel taller than all others with it by exposing it to the world.
And; this effort is not entirely due to Trumps absolute ineptness at virtually everything he does, but many of his efforts seem to be intentional disregard for the purpose of childishly thumbing his nose at President Obama. Trump’s obsessive character trait will not allow him to accomplish anything other than to display his obsession for revenge politics, his bigoted perspective of the world and his disgusting treatment of the poor and disabled.
However; remember those academic credentials he flaunted not long ago? “I went to better schools and received better grades than all of them”.
Well, I suppose, if you’re “like this really smart guy who earned a four-year degree at Wharton’s School of Finance and Commerce”, you have the right to flaunt that degree in the faces of the likes of Bill Clinton, a Rhodes Scholar (something that would make graduating from Wharton’s look like graduating from pre-school), and Obama’s Occidental College, Columbia Thesis for his Master’s Degree, and his Doctorate in Constitutional Law at Harvard Law School.
Well, I take that back. I doubt you have any right at all to compare yourself to either Bill Clinton or Barack Obama in any form of education and certainly not in intelligence. That Wharton degree? Keep it for when we have a TP shortage. It’ll look really nice next to your gold-leafed vanity mirror.
Trump’s myopic view of the world is a direct result of his extremely sheltered, wealthy childhood. Though most wealthy children grow up with a healthy perspective towards life and are highly educated, Trump’s dangerous narcissism accompanied with his pampered childhood has created a man whose only thoughts, indeed obsessions, are of himself and how he can get more for himself.
His arrogance undoubtedly interfered drastically in the outcome of his education, too arrogant to listen to anyone. What else would explain his semi-severe illiteracy?
However; I simply don’t see any effort whatsoever by Trump to follow the advice of forty-four on any of the 4 main points he suggested. In fact; what I do perceive are a malignant narcissist’s efforts to, not just ignore them, but to make every attempt to deny and defile the very nature of the advice.
Second Point: Leading the World. In President Obama’s words; “American leadership in this world really is indispensable. It’s up to us, through action and example, to sustain the international order that’s expanded steadily since the end of the Cold War, and upon which our own wealth and safety depend.”
But; Trump is nothing, but the world’s worst leader, perhaps ever. And; in that, I don’t mean bad because he leads us down the wrong path, though that is indeed what he’s doing.
What I mean is he is utterly incapable of leading men and women towards any path; towards any goal. The man doesn’t even understand the skills it takes for good leadership and he is abdicating every leadership role the U.S. has taken decades and many wars to build, both amongst allies and adversaries alike.
There are many leadership styles, but few to which followers respond well.
Simply through watching him, I can guarantee I know which style of leadership he subscribes to; the style that those most new to leadership, or those who are far too arrogant to learn ALWAYS use.
Trump views leadership as something that automatically comes with and from position and, as a result, the autocratic style that accompanies him and those like him, is oppressive, ineffective, caustic and ruinous at best.
His arrogance and narcissism prevents his learning anything new.
He will never learn anything; anything at all. Rather; he’ll continue to view those he sees as his “followers, or employees (as he views both houses of Congress and all the Judiciary Branch) as disposable, even useless sheep who don’t have the brains to follow his “highly valuable” leadership and should be responding to his autocratic rule, or they’re committing acts of treachery. Hence, Sally Yates, Preet Bharara, James Comey, Steve Bannon, Sean Spicer, etc, etc….are no longer around.
For all of us who have held leadership roles, we know precisely how hard we must work to EARN the respect of those we lead; how tenuous that leadership can be, how difficult it is to attain, and how so very easily it can be lost.
The long, arduous work had already been accomplished for Trump, all the incompetent fool needed to do was to continue the forward progress.
But, in true Trump fashion and perhaps even through his seething hate for President Obama, or just his sheer embarrassment with himself upon learning he can’t lead, he turned his back on the world and in doing so, placed the interests of you and me, the U.S. and the entire planet in the trunk of the car he’s driving, peddle to the metal, towards the cliff.
But; you can be sure he’ll leave a note behind blaming someone else for his leadership flaws though – probably his lifetime friend Thomas Jefferson b 1743, d 1846, who somehow shared his anger with the U.S. for the U.S. Civil War, fifteen years after his death.
Trump refuses to assume the role many world leaders look to for help in their own nations, because he’s afraid doing so will expose a massive weakness in a man with far more weaknesses than he has strengths. He can’t lead anything or anyone, especially globally. The only thing the clown does is leaves decision-making to others as he goes golfing every weekend, then blames any missteps on whomever he can find close at hand. It’s no damned wonder he thought leading the nation as a part-time job.
Third point: “we are just temporary occupants of this office. That makes us guardians of those democratic institutions and traditions — like rule of law, separation of powers, equal protection and civil liberties — that our forebears fought and bled for.”
The doofus Trump hasn’t a clue as to what integrity is and the moron certainly doesn’t understand the separation of powers. I can tell you as surely as I’m sitting here writing this this evening, Trump views himself as THE POWER. Kim Donald-dung.
He’s made that abundantly clear on multiple occasions in his legal battles over the Travel Ban, his efforts to deport masses of people that even includes U.S. Citizens. He attacked the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, threatening to “break them up” because they ruled against his travel ban directed towards Muslims.
Trump was really castrated and infuriated when another Appeals Court shot down his travel ban again, and a Federal Judge blocked part of Trump’s sanctuary cities executive orders.
NONE of his appointees have a clue as to what they’re supposed to be doing and have no understanding whatsoever of their limitations of power.
Jeff Sessions made that perfectly clear when he stated “I really am amazed that a judge sitting on an island in the Pacific can issue an order that stops the president of the United States from what appears to be clearly his statutory and constitutional power,” when speaking of the Federal Judge Derrick Watson’s ruling. In other words; “I don’t see how a mere judge can rule against tyranny and dictatorship.
Trump’s efforts to ramrod laws limiting the powers of the EPA were blocked as well when the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia prevented Scott Pruitt and Trump from rolling back dozens of President Obama’s environmental rules restricting methane emissions.
Trump has made it perfectly clear too, on where he stands with civil liberties in his comments about Charlottesville and his continued vehement remarks and adamant support for those comments backing the White Supremacy groups.
Despite President Obama’s efforts to guide him, Trump’s continuous lies, and falsified story-telling; stories such as General Sherman, during the US/Philippine war in 1891, rolling bullets in pig’s blood before killing “Muslim Terrorist” POWs.
His lies to the Boy Scouts of America; and then of course, there’s truly the absurdest of absurdity: Trump insisting, despite the efforts of all the people who tried to inform him of the error in his claim “he has a close friendship with Frederick Douglass”. Insisting that it was once again the fake press who has made a mockery of a personal friend Frederick Douglass by claiming he’s dead”, the same Frederick Douglass who died over 132 years ago:
“Based on what Betsy said about me, we could really use Fred’s energy around here,” Trump said.
He lashed out at the press for reporting that Frederick Douglass was dead, calling those reports “very unfair.”
“That’s a nasty thing to say about someone who is alive and doing a great job,” he said. “This is why the press is failing and it’s failing very, very badly.”
And with that, I can write no more absurdities, or my own mind will explode. But then, I have a few more months of Trump before he pushes the U.S. beyond the breaking point and we collectively say to Trump; “your fired”, you moron.”