Parker: Dear Mr. Trump
WASHINGTON – You won. Welcome to hell.
And to think, I thought you'd become president when hell froze over.
Now that the election is finally behind us, may I ask a tiny question: Why did you want this job? Was it on your bucket list? After so many square miles of golf courses, trophy wives, gilt mirrors and crystal chandeliers, was there nothing left to mess with?
I wasn't surprised, by the way, when you said you'd spend half your time in New York. I mean, it's New York! And the White House is a tad bourgeois in an Epcotty sort of way. All that marble, heavy drapes and selection of new china. Why do we treat incoming presidents and first ladies like they just got married? And who needs a balcony overlooking the National Mall when you've got a four-corner office in your own tower overlooking Fifth Avenue?
Don't worry about all the whining from Mayor de Blasio about the high cost of security. It's just like a Democrat to want the feds to pay for it, right? All de Blasio has to do is tax facelifts on the Upper East Side and he can build a Trump Armory.
Anyway, I'm writing to say, congrats, despite my having done everything in my limited power to block you. When I wrote column after column about why you were unfit to be president and wouldn't do half of what you were promising, I was serious. And of course, I was right.
But being a businessman, you know how we say things. It's not personal. It's not like you were waking up to a dead chicken in your bed. Besides, I'm pretty sure you didn't care when I (and many others) called you a con man, a carnival barker, a bully and a snake oil salesman. Admit it. You were thinking: So what? I'm winning!
And so you did. Win.
The reason I knew you wouldn't do most of what you promised is, one, my b.s. detector is from the same Queens DNA as yours (via my paternal grandmother, who was quite a dame, by the way). Two, you logically or legally can't do much of it. Three, you're Donald Trump, which is synonymous with "whatever works."
So the anger was a ruse. The promises were slogans. The nasty rhetoric was juice for the base. Not your best moment, Mr. President-elect. And, frankly, not your best timing. You may have missed the coincidence, but the very day that the Electoral College officially affirmed your victory, the world exploded. One after another, whether connected or not, possible terrorists staged attacks in three countries.
In Ankara, a Turkish cop assassinated Russia's ambassador to Turkey, shouting "Remember Aleppo." In Berlin, a commercial truck crashed through the Christmas market, killing at least a dozen people and injuring dozens more. In Zurich, a gunman entered a Muslim prayer center attended mostly by Somalis and opened fire, wounding at least three people.
Naturally, you immediately characterized the attack in Ankara as being perpetrated by a "radical Islamic terrorist," which may be likely given his shout of "Allahu akbar," but you do realize that as president, you're going to have to wait for the facts before commenting? Meanwhile, cue media, the assassination is being characterized as a prompt for the U.S. and Russia to form an alliance in the fight against terrorism. Voila. Just what Putin and Trump have been angling for.
Anyway, you can now start hanging with Putin. Just don't look into his eyes, which, apparently, can make you think he has a soul. (It's an old KGB trick.) You'll have to figure out how to handle the Vlad and his other pal, Syrian President Bashar Assad, since the two of them have been mass murdering the very same people of Aleppo invoked by the assassin. I'm not feeling the love triangle here, but you're the magician.
Maybe you can convince them that it's better to kill terrorists than children. Maybe you and Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim can cut an immigration deal and build a succulent, spiny hedge along the southern border. And just maybe, you and China can renegotiate a trade deal — maybe swap a few resorts for Smithfield Foods, Ingram Micro, General Electric Appliance Business, to name a few of the top American companies Chinese firms now own.
Good luck with all that. As I said, welcome to hell. And, since you've said it's OK, Merry Christmas. (P.S. Stop tweeting!)
Kathleen Parker is a columnist for The Washington Post.