Fellow citizens of America, we have an urgent new cause — to help our former president, Donald J. Trump, come up with the best library imaginable.
For openers, I believe Graydon Carter and his colleagues at AirMail have come up with the perfect architectural rendering to house the exhibits — a giant red MAGA cap, with the entrance under the bill. (From Barry Britt’s inspired offering, a sketchbook of his own ideas for the library.)
And I would have, tethered to the top of the MAGA mausoleum, a giant Trump baby balloon. Around the bottom, a giant chyron — “Steadfast in Leadership… Humble in Victory… Gracious in Defeat… An Inspiration for All Americans.”
And here is what I would put under that hat:
Guests are greeted by Don Jr.’s girlfriend, Kimberly Guilfoyle, shouting (no megaphone necessary): “The greatest presidential show on earth! Step right in!”
The Golden Statue
A few feet inside, visitors come upon the 6-foot, gold-painted fiberglass statue of the 45th president in American flag short pants and flip flops. It was the big attraction at this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) held in Florida on February 27.
In an endless loop, the statue enunciates Trump’s mantra proving he is neither senile nor demented: “Person, woman, man, camera, TV, person, woman…”
To accommodate parents, the library would thoughtfully provide a place to leave their restless youngsters — a shooting gallery using live ammunition.
The kids would be offered their choice of various guns and rifles — all fitted with silencers.
On the wall, playing in an endless loop, the video featuring Donald Trump, Jr. promoting the use of gun silencers (made by SilencerCo, a major contributor to the Trump campaign). In it, he shares his opinion on their value, especially with respect to children:
It’s about safety. It’s about hearing protection. It’s a health issue. … Getting little, you know, little kids into the game? You know, it greatly reduces recoil. I mean, it’s a, it’s a great — it’s just a great instrument. There’s nothing, you know, there’s nothing bad about it at all. It makes — it makes total sense, it’s where we should be going.”
With the kids out of the way, the adults are free to enjoy the rest of the show.
Donald Trump Jr. supports gun silencers because it'll get little kids to play with guns pic.twitter.com/efUQw5MiRe
— NowThis (@nowthisnews) February 15, 2018
Mirror, Mirror on the Wall
Dozens of images of the once and future president adorn the walls. In the center, a replica of Trump’s tanning bed, the source of so much of Donald Trump’s confidence and strength. While Enya’s spa music plays softly in the background, a hologram would be projected of a horizontal Trump, in dog collar, getting his daily dose of “sunlight.”
Immediately adjoining is the Makeup Room, with all of the unguents and dyes used on his face and hair. His daily ritual is so arduous that his working day often does not begin until noon, according to former National Security Advisor John Bolton. The walls of this room should be decorated with color charts displaying the different shades of The Face and The Hair through the years. Somewhere should be a text block proudly proclaiming that Donald J. Trump is the only man, other than RuPaul, known to use so much makeup.
After Trump’s orange face and orange hair, no Trump branding is more famous than his thick, art-directed signature, with its EKG up-and-down strokes. In the center of the room would be a large bin, filled with hundreds of discarded Sharpies used to sign his executive orders.
The walls of this room could be decorated with blowups of some of his 220 decrees. In light of the January 6 insurrection, it might feature Trump’s express directive, EO #13774, “Preventing Violence Against Federal, State, Tribal, and Local Law Enforcement Officers.”
And the 2019 Sharpie-enhanced map of Hurricane Dorian, in which the president redirected the storm towards Alabama with a flick of his pen, to the surprise of the people who ran the National Hurricane Center, to say nothing of Mother Nature.
— Adam Kinzinger (@RepKinzinger) February 17, 2021
For students of history, a room full of primary documents. Exhibit #1 might be called the Very First Lie. A nearby directive would call for a respectful silence when viewing. The exhibit would consist of the pictures photoshopped by the White House to “prove” Trump had drawn the largest inaugural crowd in history, accompanied by videos of combative press secretary Sean Spicer lamenting that the press had downplayed the numbers.
This room should contain mixed media presentations of the following:
Trump’s fake birther claims about the legitimacy of President Barack Obama, including his instructions to Michael Cohen — “We have a team of people in Hawaii and soon Trump will be making a statement on the results. Got it?”
Access Hollywood’s “Grab ‘em by the pussy” tape.
Video of Trump fawning over Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki.
The transcript of the blackmail call to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Audio of the call to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, begging him to find 11,780 more Trump votes.
Full video of Trump’s oration at the January 6 “Stop The Steal” rally for which he was impeached the second time. The rally speech is over an hour, so seats will have to be permanently set up, with smelling salts and sharpened American flagpoles at the ready.
A necessarily oversized room to fit all of the attorneys who danced attendance over the years. Because of the sheer numbers, most would be represented with photos and brief bios, but grander displays would seem appropriate for some: a large oil painting of the late Roy Cohn — the infamous mob lawyer who taught young Donald many of the dark arts — and for those characters central to his presidency, life-size wax statues of his personal lawyers, Michael Cohen with ankle monitor in place, and Rudy Giuliani with hair-dye streaking his cheeks.
In the middle of the room, a gilded cage with a hologram of a red-faced, wildly gesticulating Michael van der Veen, the ambulance-chasing lawyer from Philadelphia who took center stage during Trump’s second impeachment trial. On a continuous loop a sclerotic van der Veen would be saying over and over, “Hatred is at the heart, hatred is at the heart…”
It will be in this room that the faithful may get a glimpse of Stormy Daniels in her G-string. Maybe a 10-minute outtake from her movie Finding Bliss. Nearby, the nondisclosure agreement Cohen wrote to shut up the porn star shortly before the 2016 election.
Around the walls could be the names Trump called the virus: “China Flu,” “Kung Flu.” This exhibit could include a labyrinth. Every time a viewer comes to a blind turn he or she would hear Trump’s words, “We are turning the corner. … We are turning the corner.”
On the next wall, a brightly flashing display with the number of deaths multiplying — 50,000; 100,000; 150,000; 300,000; 400,000; 500,000.
A giant oil painting of Trump, the digital clock saying 3:00 a.m., in his bathrobe, pecking away on his flip phone. Between his campaign for the office and his single term there were 34,000 tweets, so plenty to choose from for the exhibit’s wallpaper. During Trump’s first year in office Twitter felt compelled to increase the number of characters of a single tweet from 140 to 280, such was the president’s effluvium. A chart showing a graph of all his tweets, peaking in a frenzy in late 2020 and then … zero.
Nearer My God, to Thee
No Trump library would be complete without a large nod to the Evangelical community. And this room might have, for instance, a display with Trump at his first National Prayer Breakfast, in which he spent most of his time complaining that Arnold Schwarzenegger had proved so disappointing as the new host of Celebrity Apprentice. And a video loop of Trump telling an audience that he is the most beloved person in the world next to Jesus. An angelic portrait of Trump could be paired with El Greco’s painting Christ Carrying the Cross.
Pardon Me Room
Depending on how big the museum is, there might be room to accommodate a mock jail cell, with holograms of the people who passed through prison on the way to the adjoining Pardon Me Room, a veritable diorama of Trump swamp creatures large and small, circling around their progenitor, a grimy and sniggering Steve Bannon.
In the Southwest-themed Border Room, pieces of “The Wall” and photo exhibits of children separated from their parents and cowering before ICE guards, next to a large blow up of First Lady Melania in her jacket with these words on the back: “I really don’t care. Do U?”
Include video, audio, or framed quotes of Trump’s comments on Mexicans:
When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.
Trump’s Favorite Reading Material
And within the library, perhaps a Reading Room containing Trump’s favorite books. This room would be left largely empty as part of its message. There would be desultory piles of Trump’s ghostwritten books stacked about, and somewhere a hologram of Tony Schwartz, author of Trump’s “autobiography,” The Art of the Deal, confessing to the New Yorker his part in perpetuating the foundational conceit that Trump was a successful self-made businessman.
In the center, perhaps on a pedestal, Trump’s copy of Adolf Hitler’s autobiography, Mein Kampf, accompanied by a tape of Trump’s first wife Ivana saying that it was the only book Trump kept on his night table.
Q: How many Corinthians does it take to prove that "trump" can't tell the Bible from Mein Kampf?
A: Two. It takes two Corinthians. pic.twitter.com/hxmbJ7idRA
— Brian Hjelle, virologist (@hjelle_brian) August 6, 2020
Big Macs and Egg McMuffins in their paper wrappers, and nuggets of Kentucky Fried Chicken still nestled in their branded buckets. Diet Cokes in bottles.
MAGA campaign paraphernalia. Golf clothing branded with the logos of his many country clubs, including size XXXL golf slacks, scorecards from his 300-plus rounds of golf while president with notations on which holes he most often cheated. Trump-brand bottles of bleach and hydroxychloroquine. “A Thousand Tweet” wallpaper. Toilet paper featuring the faces of Hillary Clinton and Robert Mueller.
One could buy at auction the very Confederate flags, Trump banners, and QAnon shirts brandished at the January 6 assault on the Capitol and — for a very high price — the noose meant for Vice President Pence.
What did we leave out? Please send in your own ideas for designs, exhibits, and artifacts.