Here is the text of my next quadrennial letter to the Presidential candidates. In a rational reversal of convention, I send my congratulations to the losers, and my condolences to the winner.
Congratulations and condolences
Dear Former Candidates:
Now that the election results are in, and we know which one of you won the election, and which ones lost, I send you a letter of congratulations and condolences. Unlike the usual practice, I send my congratulations to the losers and my condolences to the winner.
First, the major party loser. Congratulations, Hillary Clinton; you lost. It was a close call for a while, but you dodged it. We considered you carefully, and in the end chose not to inflict the Presidency upon you, or you upon it. Good for you, and good for it! Now please go away and be quiet before we change our minds and make you President after all.
A shout-out now for the minor-party losers; Gary Johnson of the Libertarians, Jill Stein of the Green Party, and many others. Good news; you all lost! None of you have to be President!
Some words now to the one leaving office; Barack Obama. In my previous letter to you I told you to follow the path of least resistance, and to manage the decline of American empire. You have obeyed these orders to the letter. Against my advice you attempted some reforms; and as I predicted, this met resistance.
Thank you for feeding bin Laden to the fish. And thanks for Obamacare. And for stopping a Depression. And for the judges. And for stealing so many Republican ideas that they have none left. And much else. All in all you have done amazingly well, for a President. That’s because you’re a nice man, but you’re also an Ice man. You are now released from the worst job in the world. Dis-missed!
Now for the winner, Donald Trump. Greetings! It is my duty to inform you that you are now President-Elect of the United States of America. My deepest condolences. Your new job is stressful; it’s hazardous; it’ll force you to do hideous deeds; it’ll age you fast; and worst of all, it’s a dead end. Any job after this will be a demotion. I repeat: my condolences.
The Presidency is so toxic that winning it won’t just harm you; it’ll harm your closest constituents. But lucky for you, self-harm is your constituency.
The awful truth is, you’re a slave. All Presidents are slaves; “public servant” is a euphemism. I think that the Presidency should be a civic obligation imposed at random, then heavily vetted, like jury duty or the draft; the kind of job that people run from rather than for.
As is, it’s a volunteer post. That’s absurd, and the joke’s on you. You sought the booby prize, and you won. You have it, and it has you. I question your judgment, but I cannot fault your courage. Good luck!
To your predecessor I recommended managing imperial decline; but to you I recommend accelerating imperial decline. Go with the flow, down the drain. That’s what you’ll do anyhow, like it or not, so here I am, telling you to do it.
Above all, be yourself. In your case, that means: be the voice of unreason. So rule with a whim of iron! Run the government like the corporations that you bankrupted! Wage wars where victory means a bigger and better war! Break the banks, crash the markets, poison the drinking water, comfort the comfortable and afflict the afflicted! Make America a laughingstock again! Lose huge!
I’m against all that; but you’re for it, and you’ll do it whether or not I tell you to. So that’s why I’m telling you to. Later I’ll say that you obeyed me.