Trumping Your Life: The Final Installment

  1. Do not be afraid to surround yourself with yes men. There is nothing more affirmative to your health and well being than having a small army of people willing to nod vacuously at your every pronouncement no matter how stupid or destructive. One of them may be gunning for your job and unsettlingly refers to his wife as “Mother”, but that’s the cost of doing business. And if no one ever tells you you’re wrong, you are for all practical purposes, right. Right and wrong simultaneously. Think of it as Schrodinger’s Presidency.
  2. Remember your victories and when in doubt, repeat them to yourself for a boost of confidence. If the solidity of the victory appears to be in doubt — some nobody says you don’t know what you’re talking about, or someone produces “empirical evidence” that your inauguration crowds are smaller than you know they were — summon one of your yes men, who will surely remedy the situation before your consciousness is cruelly invaded by the specter of doubt, a horrific and alien feeling to which no one should ever be subjected and which you’ve thus far avoided entirely.
  3. No one is more important than you are. No one. Be sure to carve out some “me time” for “self care”. Treat yourself to 2,483 holes of golf, preferably at one of the many tremendous resorts and hotels that bear the Trump name (at least as long as they manage to service debt the size of a small developing nation’s GDP or professional acquaintances in Moscow are willing to do it for them). And if you’re tempted to consider the lives and fates of anyone who is not, technically speaking, you — say, the millions of people in the United States who don’t have health insurance and will die for lack of adequate medical treatment, people who are immigrants, who are not white, gay or men — just remember, you will never be not white, not straight, an immigrant or a woman, and you do not have to worry about paying for healthcare because taxpayers are footing the bill. So fuck ‘em.
  4. Do not be afraid to fire the yes men if they stop being yes men, or appallingly, never were in the first place. But the firing is best done by someone else, because firing people is unpleasant and you run the risk of marring the unoccluded nihilism of a day spent free of moral and ethical consequences with an inconvenient pang of empathy. Not worth it. Just have them play a clip of you saying “you’re fired” dramatically into a camera — you probably have footage somewhere — and let one of the yes men handle the details. Details are below your pay grade anyway. Things like listening, and reading, and comprehending are tedious and should be delegated. And if everyone reacts badly to the firing, stick with the story that it was the Deputy Attorney General’s idea.
  5. Speaking of, delegate everything. A good rule of thumb: ask yourself, “am I doing anything that would nominally be considered a basic requirement of my job?” If the answer is yes, you haven’t delegated far enough. And if you manage to run out of qualified staffers, you always have friends and family. Maybe not your sons, who are not the brightest bulbs in the chandelier, but son-in-laws count as family — at least until they get indicted. And it’s not your fault if you produced a family full of Fredo Corleones. (It’s Fredos all the way down, really.) At least one of them is hot.
  6. The best way to avoid feeling stupid is to strenuously avoid any encounter with information to which you’ve never previously been exposed. This admittedly takes some effort. If someone approaches you with something that looks like it may be an intelligence briefing, insist that they summarize it in 100 words or less and include a visualization. But not a complicated one, because then you’ll be forced to delegate the comprehension of it, and too much delegation is exhausting. And when you’re exhausted, you have to make more time for self care, and then some asshole takes an unflattering photo of your giant chino-clad rear-end on the 9th hole and syndicates it via the AP. So all things considered, a good shortcut might be to flee in the other direction when you see anyone approaching who may be in possession of information. But not too fast, because exercise depletes your finite life force. And never, ever down stairs.
  7. Do not believe what they say about the size of your fingers and the size of your, you know. This is liberal media propaganda. If you need counter-evidence, you can pay a very attractive woman to urinate on you and she will assure you that it isn’t true. Every. Single. Time.
  8. Most people tell little white lies now and then. Those people are unambitious and weak. If you’re going to lie your face off, constantly, why not go for broke? Tell so many lies no one can keep them straight anymore. Lie about who you are, what you’ve done, what you had for lunch. (You know it’s four gallons of Coca Cola, but as far as America is concerned, it’s a taco salad from Trump Tower with a side of Trump porterhouse and non-alcoholic Trump cabernet.) Lie for the practice, lie for the fun. Lie in 140 characters or less. Lie, lie, lie. Not everyone will believe you, but someone will, especially if you tell the same lies over and over again. And if you don’t, because you can’t possibly keep them straight, that’s okay, too. No one cares because nothing matters anymore. (That is a lie too, but if you say it loud enough for long enough, people will start to believe it.)




Writer, NYU j-school prof, political commentator, digital strategist, ex-editor in chief of The New York Observer, founding editor of Gawker

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Elizabeth Spiers

Elizabeth Spiers

Writer, NYU j-school prof, political commentator, digital strategist, ex-editor in chief of The New York Observer, founding editor of Gawker

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