It is a tradition for the outgoing president to leave a letter to the incoming commander in chief. George W. Bush left a touching note for Barack Obama after Obama’s election, as did Bill Clinton for Bush after Bush became the 43rd president of the United States.
Because the Thousand Island-dressing-colored grand dragon has routinely obstructed the American people from examining his actual documents (income taxes, health records, Melania’s immigration papers, the secret plan to destroy the Islamic State group, the Affordable Care Act replacement plan, etc.), we probably won’t get to see what Obama wrote to Donald Trump. So here is an exclusive (although imagined) look at the message Barack Obama left for the newly elected president:
By now you have settled into the Oval Office, put up the velvet paintings you bought with charity money, installed your direct line to Vladimir Putin, and instructed the White House kitchen staff to dispose of all the hot sauce and seasoning salt. By this time, I’m guessing Macklemore has released the remix to Jeezy’s “My President Is Black,” so you’re probably dancing through the White House singing:
My president’s orange
My Klan suit’s white
My Nazi flag’s red
and my crew’s alt-right ...
Still, I’m sure you’re nervous. I know how overwhelming it can be when you realize that every decision you make will impact the lives of 300 million people. In the past few days you have probably learned a lot about the existential threats facing America, how they count inauguration crowds and who the hell Chrisette Michele is. You’re probably beginning to feel the weight of the office.
I could tell you to lean on your experience as a governor, your time in the Senate or any of your previous jobs, but I know you haven’t held a leadership role since your high school removed you from your post as captain a month after it appointed you, so I thought you might need some advice from one of the only five men alive who’ve ever held the job.
When we first met, you seemed very reluctant to have an open and honest conversation with me. Perhaps that was my fault. Maybe it was a little passive-aggressive of me to leave my birth certificate on the desk during your first White House visit, but I heard you were very interested in seeing it. To be fair, I was a little exhausted from convincing Joe Biden that I couldn’t answer, “You can catch deez hands,” when you asked how you could help the country move forward (he really doesn’t like you).
First, you should know that you’re probably going to face some resistance that your stint in pro-wrestling, your reality-show experience and even your pussy-grabbing background haven’t prepared you for. As soon as I took office, Mitch McConnell said his No. 1 job was to make me “a one-term president.”
In fact, I was able to rescue the country from a historic recession, add jobs to the economy for 75 straight months, kill the most-wanted man in the world, end two wars, reform the criminal-justice system, free thousands of prisoners of the stupid war on drugs and become the first president who knew how to do the Electric Slide.
I’m not bragging. I just want to point out that none of these accomplishments involved tweeting. In fact—and I know this may shock you—I managed to go eight full years without having a single Twitter beef! There were times I wanted to clap back (especially when they talked about Michelle, Malia or Sasha), but I knew how much America fears the “angry black man.”
In fact, that’s why I wrote this letter. I know half of America thinks you are going to screw the country into the ground. To be honest, I’m one of them. Many people (especially Joe—he really doesn’t like you at all) believe you want to round up Muslims and Mexicans, but I remember how a lot of people in your party thought I was coming to round up their guns, initiate Shariah law and make it illegal to be white as soon as I took office. (Although, one of those isn’t such a bad idea. You guess which one.) I want you to let the awesome responsibility of the job guide you.
Ignore the whispers of the white supremacist you named chief strategist and allowed to write your inauguration speech just like you ignore signs of consent from women (don’t worry, this is just presidential “locker-room talk”). Forget the dog-whistle pledges you made to your Confederate-flag-waving supporters as if they were pleas for you to release your tax returns. Reject the partisan calls to repeal health care for 18 million people like you reject facts. You are the president of everyone now.
As the first black president, I am often asked why I didn’t do more for black America. The answer to that question is the same as what I would say to you whenever you considered acquiescing to the whims of the white supremacist contingent who carried you into office:
That’s not how “president” works.
You’re not the president of Republicans. You’re not the president of white America. You’re the president of the United States of America and every citizen therein. I know privilege, narcissism and a rich daddy make the idea of considering people outside of yourself a foreign concept, but the job requires it now. I cannot endow you with compassion or intelligence. My only hope for you (besides never running into Joe in a dark parking lot) is that you will realize the incredible responsibility placed in your hands. Surround yourself with people who know what’s right. Then do what is right.
It is a tradition to give the incoming president a gift. (By the way, tell Melania that Michelle says she appreciates the inauguration present. It was really nice of Melania to put all of Michelle’s old speeches in a Tiffany box and give them back after she used them!)
Besides this letter, I leave you only two things. The first is a quote by Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who held this job for 16 years:
There should be no bitterness or hate where the sole thought is the welfare of the United States of America. No man can occupy the office of president without realizing that he is president of all the people.
The second thing I wanted you to have is in the top drawer of the desk in the Oval Office. I thought it was an appropriate gift because I tried to figure out the age-old question: What do I give the man who has everything? I figured you could use this because people of Muslim decent, Khizr Khan and the entire population of Mexican descendants have all wondered if you had one.
No—it’s not a sense of decency. It’s called “the Constitution.”
I wish you luck, Mr. Trump. I will be watching you. America will be watching you. The world will be watching. Even more importantly:
Joe will be watching.
P.S.: I will not be attending any state dinners or activities while you are president. It has nothing to do with “sitting at the table” or invalidating your administration. I just know the chicken won’t be seasoned right.