Mr President

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Memoir  |  House: Booksie Classic
The uncommon rise of an American President

Submitted: March 07, 2017

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Submitted: March 07, 2017



Trust me, I am as surprised as you are. I did not get into this for a joke, but I certainly never imagined that I would win. I am a ‘brand’ business man, meaning that I don’t actually do much business anymore. I tried as a young man, I really did, if for nothing else than to please Dad. After he died I lost interest. I was sad but I also felt strangely free – I think most people feel this way when their parents die – and I started to ask the sort of questions that Dad never tolerated. Namely, what is it all good for? What is the fucking point? The answer came to me quite quickly, after all I am not the idiot that many of you think I am: childhood. That’s it. I wanted the sort of raw happiness that only children feel... from the outside it looks to me like a kind of competitive bloom. I thought about this for a while, months actually, and I think I figured it all out. Children discover themselves at the same time that they discover the world. It dawns on them fairly immediately that these two ideas will never be compatible with each other... one of them will have to win out. And it’s the realisation of this fight before them that makes childhood so much fun. Perhaps I should have called in a philosopher to check on my math, but that seemed like an act of surrender in itself. Instead I just stopped working, and I started fighting for recognition again. That’s all that I have really been focussed on for the past four decades – ‘brand Trump’.

It hasn’t been easy. People see me, they see what I am, and no one ever really likes battling under the flag of another man, even if it makes them rich. But through all the scorn, I persisted. What else was there for me to do? Stay at home and help with the kids? Well I tried that for a few years back during my second marriage. After reading a few new age books on the changing role of men in society, I felt that I should make an effort to break down the fixed gender dynamic within my own family – act local, right? I won’t lie to you, it wasn’t that I had changed my mind about the role of women. Rather it was a nauseating, relentless guilt that motivated the experiment. Those types of books will make even the kindest of men believe that they have been living a life of exploitation. Well I stuck it out, really committing to the career change, and would you believe it, she hated me for it. She liked her time alone, or at least her time away from me. Eventually I went back to work, but the divorce was already in motion... I never made that mistake again.

So I was back to work, and working on me! My wife hated me, and my kids were just at that age where they would hate me for a few more years by simple chance of biology, so it all worked out quite well. I had to find new people to love Trump, and my returning individuality came along for the ride. Reinvigorated and with purpose again, I was still a failure. I soon realised that I was just trying too hard. The breakthrough came after I had just hired a fresh batch of hot, young Ivy League talent for my corporate office. During orientation, one of the girls – a petite little brunette with Eastern European features, named Talia – smiled at me in just the right way, so on a whim I took them away for a team building weekend in the Rocky Mountains. Trying desperately to show everyone that I was still a relatable, fun guy, I began, hopelessly, to mimic their social dynamic. I was out of my depth immediately. I hung in there for a while though, with a stupid grin on my face, stealing glances at Talia whenever I could. But I just couldn’t keep up the act, there was something different, something ethereal about this generation... something gimmicky! That night, alone in my cabin as my new employees partied away outside, it hit me – brand Trump was aiming too high, trying to be too reputable. Modern branding wasn’t about quality, it was about noise, constant noise. In the morning, I heard a rumour that Talia had hooked-up with Michael – a well-muscled economics major from Harvard – I fired them both.

Brand Trump never looked back, we were relentless. We expanded into every available corner of the market, no matter how dark, or how tenuous the opportunity... in fact, the more ‘out there’ the better. It made us seem like trail blazers, like we knew something that everyone else didn’t. Board meetings became circuses – every idea became a good idea! And it worked. All the investments failed, but the brand grew. Every time we did something stupid we made news, and very soon everyone knew the name ‘Trump’. I had built a self-fulfilling business model, an echo chamber of my own success – the first famous-for-being-famous company. I really should have looked into copyrighting the design, because before I knew it the modern breed of celebrity had simply walked into the space that I was opening up, and had stolen the intellectual property of my success. So what did I do? I stole some of theirs!

It was the next logical step. Brand Trump had reached a ceiling that, rudely, no one had told me was there. Fuck, was I angry! We had saturated the market; the boardroom agreed that the public was simply gimmicked-out, and that if we didn’t produce something of substance quickly, then it would all come crumbling down in a painful and embarrassing mess. How wrong they were about you all! In a depression, I promised myself one last fling, one last moment to feel important. And seeing that my business model was dead, I didn’t even bother with the pretence – I launched a TV show and made myself the star. Not great theatre I admit, but it was a great extension of brand Trump. And you really surprised me. I thought you had gotten bored of me, and were seeking deeper pleasures – when in reality, you just didn’t read the news anymore. You had actually become shallower, more detached; so my product launches – and all that effort – were simply going by unnoticed. Lesson learnt!

The path forward – even more so than before – needed energy rather than thought. The mere whisper of the need to apply some nuance, and someone would be fired. It just showed me that they didn’t get it. The new business model for brand Trump was act on impulse, always! And I had a great time! Predictions about my downfall came and went, my children returned to me and to the brand, and I remarried once again. Only this time I wasn’t so complacent. This time I wasn’t going to let my celebrity drain away quite so easily. I knew, soon enough, I would need something new. I didn’t have to search too hard though, in fact, I didn’t have to search at all. It was election season, and a season like no other, just as was the one before, and the one before that. Politics was becoming entertainment, what was old was new again, and I definitely wasn’t going to ignore such a captive audience. So brand Trump went political, and didn’t we fit well! Sure, I was a little too late to the party at first, so I just bided my time. I kept the noise up, but essentially went on vacation, for four whole years. But I had reached new heights and definitely new audiences... so I was always coming back.

Now here we are, and you have surprised me once again!

© Copyright 2019 Jed Lea-Henry. All rights reserved.

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