Mayor Trump does a great job getting panhandlers off the subway. Let my brain reside in the alternate Earth where life makes sense. Instead, I’m stuck on this lousy planet where obviously horrid ideas have to be tried. Even then, a disturbingly high percentage of inhabitants refuse to see what doesn’t work.00
Take a head of state with the instincts of a city executive. Most city halls don’t have nuclear code access, which is another reason Donald Trump would’ve been better off in Gracie Mansion than the White House. Let’s have a localized do-over.
Our president picks small fights in every sense. Responding to insults is a better way to kill time on Twitter than serve as head of state. Someone with such dainty sensibilities shouldn’t hold Earth’s most criticized job. That trend of noting what’s wrong is especially apparent under this president. Getting sucked into petty squabbles is fine if you’re working downtown. But that’s only if the city isn’t Washington.
New York City is a filthy, arrogant cesspool that never sleeps because it’s so exhausting. In other words, it’s perfect for Trump. A mayor is someone you can call when a traffic light is burned out. That’d be a good level of responsibility for a former reality television character presently deciding who’s an American enemy.
Set aside how picturing Trump in a vest as orange at his face filling potholes would make life easy for New York Post headline writers. The government’s actual roles are pedestrian, which is why megalomaniac politicians so rarely do their actual jobs. But one occasionally meets the challenge of a dull office. That’s all to which a representative government should aspire.
Trump might be marginally competent at such routine tasks, even if there’s a danger he could be exposed as inept even at those. He also might be bored by the drudgery involved with being based in Gracie Mansion, although it would’ve been easier to convince his family to relocate. But it’s a more natural fit. Bitching on Metropolis’s behalf would be better than him setting trade policy.
Instead, Trump acts too small for a big office. His incessant bickering with the press isn’t merely undignified for his level: it’s hard to look tough when the foe is so weak. Paul Krugman can barely lift his necktie.
At a local level, his lame attempt to look tough might be passable. But we’ve expected previous officeholders of the current job he’s staffing to control their understandably seething tempers at the idiocy around them. A president should be above the fray. Trump singes the edges.
It’s a shame the damage wasn’t limited. Last year’s inglorious national election would have been far better if contained to New York City like, ahem, some of us suggested. Either hopeless hopeful would be an upgrade from limp commie Bill de Blasio, who is so cranky because demonizing success and cops has not created utopia in the boroughs. The fact Trump would be good for New York more of a comment on the incumbent than the worthiness of any potential replacement.
Knickerbocker mayor is a job for cranky fascists willing to take out their anger on muggers. In other words, Trump should have run for a local office this year instead. Each of last year’s national combatants have the suitable demeanor and scope to hassle New York. Watching Donald and Hillary squabble over who’s better suited to manage garbage collection would have brought singular joy.
You could see Trump as Gotham’s mayor, and not just because it’s a post traditionally reserved for pompous jerks. The position is one where quick outrage is actually a plus, as it may motivate action on mundane city manners. The job’s biggest job is as de facto police commissioner. Serving as Il Duce from city hall is where authoritarian impulses are put to good use. Rudy Giuliani imposing order on the seediest metropolis this side of Bangkok is the best example of political proficiency in recent memory. A lack of manners really helped.
In case Trump still hasn’t figured out the job this many months into it, he’s supposed to be head of state of Earth’s greatest country. He’s free to be an egomaniac, but he should at least be working to justify it. Getting full of himself without cause explains everything, particularly his contempt for the free market. Someone who pursued the job for ego massage should be limited to sewer patrol.
I live in New York City, and we deserve Trump. Nastiness is the norm, while feeling drained is the default setting. Everyone hates everyone else for good reason. There’s no greater enemy than someone stopped in the middle of the sidewalk to read a text. Hey: I know the perfect guy who should’ve been in charge. Trump’s jurisdiction would still include his hideous black glass monoliths, but it wouldn’t have extended past the Hudson. The rest of the country should’ve been spared.
Manhattan-based Trump might actually be admired for cleaning up Stink City. And he’d have reached his level of competence, namely scolding municipal screw-ups. But getting an undeserved promotion is sort-of an American tradition. Arguing otherwise means defying the president’s example, and we should want to inspire schoolchildren. We can at least dream that kids from New Jersey and beyond wouldn’t know his name.