USA’s Republican Presidency; SL’s SLFP “Presidencies”

Don’t go with family in tow

My dear Donald,

I am writing to you to congratulate you on assuming office as the 45th President of the United States of America. What is so special about this is that just a few months ago, no one thought it would be possible and Hillary’s win was a foregone conclusion. For us in Paradise, it is a familiar feeling!

Even though you are now the most powerful person in the world, you are a businessman and you have no political experience whatsoever, having never held public office. So, you may not even know where we are on the world map. Just ask John Kerry- he was busy passing resolutions against us!

Believe me, winning elections that you are not expected to win has its disadvantages. During the election campaign, you make many promises. Because no one expects you to win, no one takes them seriously and you can say anything you want. But now that you have won, you have to honour them.

Take it from us here in Paradise, Donald, that is easier said than done. Why, didn’t you also say that the government in Washington was full of crooks and that you would clean it up? Be careful, Obama may have left the White House and you may have taken his place, but the same officials run the show.

During your election campaign, didn’t you also promise to investigate Hillary and put her behind bars for endangering national security by using a private e-mail account? If what happened in Paradise is anything to go by, threatening to put your rival in jail is one thing, actually doing it is near impossible!

Even if you manage to get a lackey of your rival arrested and remanded say, for instance, on charges of misusing government vehicles, there is a big hue and cry about going on a political witch hunt. It is as if they want you to just forgive and forget their crimes, just because they are your political rivals!

Donald, I also know that your election was controversial. In fact, some argue that you are President today only because of the ‘system’ of elections in America because, in terms of the popular vote, Hillary was ahead of you by a couple of million votes. Ah, we had the same situation in Paradise too.

Why, there were people who went around waving maps of the country which showed that the defeated candidate had in fact ‘won’ the election in the South of the country and the winner was President only because he won in the North and East. The areas he won resembled the map of ‘Eelam’, they argued.

It was as if they were saying that the winner was not fit to rule the country because his majorities came mostly from the North and East. And here we were, thinking that we were united as one country at last, after three decades of war – for which, of course, we have to thank the loser, no matter what.

Donald, even before the ink had dried on the paper you signed when you assumed office, I heard that some people were making plans to impeach you. I don’t know how the system works over there, but haven’t you got someone like an elder brother who you could appoint as Speaker to prevent that?

I also heard that you had already appointed your son in law as your senior advisor. Now, having siblings in Congress to help you out in a crisis is one thing but getting family members involved in the government is another. People like to make a big fuss about it and ask embarrassing questions.

You have already done that, so here’s a little bit of advice to minimise the damage: don’t appoint your brother to head your country’s largest telephone company. And, whatever you do, never take Donald (Jr.) with you as part of your delegation when you are visiting New York to address the UN!

I know the Constitution of the United States allows someone to hold the office of President only for two terms. That is exactly what we have here in Paradise. Even then, I am so glad that you were not rash enough to solemnly promise at your inauguration that you will never run for President again.

Sometimes people make foolish statements like that – and regret it later. Then they have to get their lackeys to sound out the public, saying silly things like the party forcing them to run again for President. We all know the general public is gullible at times, but they are not that stupid, are they?

Donald, we wish you well. If you succeed at your job, that will make the world a safer place to live in. I don’t know whether you are thinking of a second term because you will be seventy four when you finish your first, but we do know of former Presidents in their seventies who have no wish to retire!

Yours truly,

Punchi Putha

PS: Although there are many similarities between what you did in America and what happened in Paradise, there is also a big difference. You are a businessman who has now become a successful politician on assuming office. In Paradise however, almost every politician becomes a successful businessman, once he assumes office!

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