With the Electoral College on Monday officially making Joseph R. Biden the winner of the 2020 presidential election, President Trump is going to exit the White House in little more than a month.
But with all the hullabaloo over the election, there has been little talk about the legacy of the 45th president — namely, his presidential library.
There no doubt will be such an edifice somewhere, possibly covered in gold. After all, the last 14 occupants of the White House have official archives and exhibitions around the country, and Mr. Trump, as we all know, loves both being praised and putting his name on buildings.
Mr. Trump, though, has expressed little interest in a library. And with all the reports that he’ll run again in 2024, perhaps it’s premature to start building a repository for all his presidential memorabilia (he could, after all, be the 45th and 47th presidents).
But those suffering from Trump Derangement Syndrome (TDS) are filled with glee over Mr. Trump’s defeat — and the wags on social media and liberals nationwide have taken aim at a coming library.
“The Trump Presidential Library will be a deleted Twitter account,” a Twitter user named “God” wrote.
“Will I pay $29.95 to go to the Donald Trump presidential centre and spa?” Paul Musgrave, assistant professor of political science at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, said to The Guardian. “Probably I will find some way to make it tax deductible in true honor of the president. But I think that you really can learn a lot about a political culture from these sorts of presentations of self.”
Vanity Fair jumped into the fray with a story headlined, “There’s a nonzero chance Trump’s presidential ‘library’ will be a theme park with rides like ‘Witch Hunt Mountain.’”
“It’s hard to see him following in the footsteps of his predecessors and opening a presidential library, though it’s extremely easy to imagine him building a shrine to himself that‘s less ‘library’ in the traditional sense and more ‘Trump-themed amusement park featuring Adam Schiff-look-alike dunk tanks, reenactments of the 2020 election wherein an actor portraying Nancy Pelosi is seen burning Trump ballots, a Mount Rushmore replica that includes Trump’s face, and a gift shop where paying customers can go home with fake People magazine covers declaring the 45th president the Sexiest Man Alive and reproductions of Hunter Biden’s smoking gun laptop,’” Vanity Fair wrote.
So, much fun is being had at Mr. Trump’s expense.
But earlier this month, an unknown person or group set up a website at djtlibrary.com. The design concept includes a “COVID Memorial” with reflecting pool, an “Alt-Right Auditorium” replete with Confederate flags, along with a few tongue-in-cheek exhibitions, such as “Tax Evasion 101” and the “Hall of Enablers.”
The library’s suggested location: on the U.S.-Mexico border in Nogales, Ariz.
The slick website also features the “Lie to America” exhibit.
“As [Trump adviser] Kellyanne Conway would say, these aren’t lies, they are just alternative facts,” the site says. “The Trump Presidency was chock full of these alternative facts, from Day 1’s claims about crowd size to claims that Covid would vanish during the summer. Take a chance to wander through these halls and view some of the best alternative facts from the entirety of the first term. Enjoy the freedom that comes from not being limited by truth and objective reality, maybe even make up an alternative fact of your own while you’re at it,” the site says.
Then there’s the “Autocrats Gallery.”
“Who doesn’t love a strongman? Take a stroll through our Autocrats Gallery, where you can cozy up to the world’s dictators. Take a selfie with Vladimir Putin in our photo booth, or stop by our writing table to pen your own love letter to Kim Jong Un. Sucking up to autocrats is easy! Tell them what they want to hear, give them whatever they want, and they will pretend to like you,” the site says.
The Los Angeles Times tracked down the site’s architect — an actual architect, whom the paper didn’t identify. But they asked him a few questions, including “What were your aesthetic inspirations for the Trump library?”
“As a New Yorker, I have seen and experienced a lot of Trump’s buildings. We are not trying to copy his aesthetic. His aesthetic is extremely gauche. We don’t want to make everything gold plated. It’s mostly a glass volume, which is much more transparent than anything in his administration,” the architect said.
Look, Mr. Trump lost. Maybe the election was stolen, but the Electoral College has certified the election and it’s all over but the sobbing by the president.
But perhaps we can all agree that the fake presidential library is at least a little funny. If you can’t laugh now, then perhaps it’s you who is suffering from TDS.
• Joseph Curl covered the White House and politics for a decade for The Washington Times. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @josephcurl.
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