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Trumpleby, The Golfer

I am a rather young country, by most standards. The nature of my avocations for the last two hundred odd years has brought me into more than ordinary contact with what would seem an interesting and singular set of people: I mean the political set of the United States. I have known very many of them, professionally and privately, and if I pleased, could relate divers histories, at which the voting populace might cringe and rage, and patriotic souls might weep. But I wave the biographies of all other politicians for a few passages in the life of Trumpleby, who was a politician of the strangest I ever saw or heard of. While of other politicians I might write the complete life, of Trumpleby nothing of that sort can be done. I believe that no materials exist for a full and satisfactory biography of this man. It is an irreparable loss to literature. Trumpleby was one of those beings of whom nothing is ascertainable, not even from the original sources, and in his case those are very small. What my own astonished eyes saw of Trumpleby, that is all I know of him, except, indeed, one vague report which will appear in the sequel.

Ere introducing the politician as he first appeared in the Presidency, it is fit I make some very little mention of myself, my populace, my branches, my geography, and my general surroundings; because some such description is indispensable to an adequate understanding of the chief character about to be presented.

Imprimis, I am a country who, from its youth upwards, has been filled with a profound conviction that the best way of life is through a more perfect union. Hence, though I belong to a citizenry proverbially energetic and nervous, even to turbulence, at times, yet nothing of that sort have I ever suffered to invade my tranquility. I am one of those ambitious countries who always assumes righteousness without regard for global consensus; but in the cool tranquility of a snug interaction, do a snug business among rich men's bonds, stocks, and monies. All who know me consider me an eminently exasperating country.

I may be young but I am large, with purple mountains, spacious skies, fruited plains, amber waves of grain, and a bunch of shiny seas.

At the period just proceeding the advent of Trumpleby, I had three branches of government. First, Executive; second, Legislative; third, Judicial. Executive considers themselves the Big Dogs; lotta woof, lotta bite. They carry out and enforce laws and are comprised of not only the President, but the VP, the Cabinet, executive departments, independent agencies, and other boards, commissions, and committees. Legislative is a bunch of little, yappy dogs: lotta woof, little bite. They take drafts of proposed laws from lobbyists, make nominations approved by lobbyists, and have the authority to declare war if, the lobbyists want them to. They're how money – also known as bills – become a law. Judicial are the cats of the political world. They interpret the meaning of laws, apply laws to individual cases, and decide if laws violate the Constitution. They basically pad quietly around and, depending on how much they've had to drink that day/how many naps they've had, decide what laws actually mean.

Now my original business was considerably increased by the upcoming election for the President of these United States. There was now great work for my populace to do. In answer to the upcoming election, the two major political parties began primaries to see who would become the principal candidate for the election. During the debates a not-so-young man stood with many others and failed to satisfactorily answer many of the questions asked of him. I can see that figure now – pallidly dumpy, pitiably frumpy, incurably lumpy! It was Trumpleby.

At first Trumpleby did an extraordinary amount of campaigning. As if long famished for fame and adoration, he seemed to gorge himself on the campaign trail. There was no pause for digestion. He ran day and night, speeching by sunlight and moonlight.

It is, of course, an indispensable part of a citizenry's business to have candidate's statements verified for accuracy, word by word, then question the candidate as to its veracity or lack thereof. It is a very dull, wearisome, and lethargic affair. I can readily imagine that to some sanguine temperaments it would be all together intolerable.

It was on the campaign trail when news of a locker room conversation in which Trumpleby stated, "I don't even wait. And when you're a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. ... Grab ‘em by the pussy. You can do anything," became public knowledge. It was on the third day, I think, of that particular news story breaking, that a few reporters asked Trumpleby, essentially, "Explain why?" Imagine my surprise when, without batting an eye, Trumpleby waved his hands around and shook his head, then replied, "I would prefer not to."

I sat a while in perfect silence, rallying all my stunned faculties. Immediately it occurred to me that my ears had deceived me, or Trumpleby had entirely missed the question. The American people repeated the request in the clearest tone they could assume. But in quite as clear a one came the previous reply, with, again, hands waving and head shaking, "I would prefer not to."

"Prefer not to," echoed the country. "What do you mean? Are you moon-struck? I want you to explain why you treat women like this."

"I would prefer not to," said he.

The citizenry looked at him steadfastly. His face was meatily composed; his eyes dim. Not a wrinkle of agitation rippled him. Had there been the least uneasiness, anger, shame, or impertinence in his manner; in other words, had there been any thing ordinarily human about him, doubtless the country would have violently dismissed him from the election. I stood gazing at him for awhile as he went on with his campaigning and thought to myself, this is very strange. What had one best do? But the election continued and, in time, Trumpleby was elected President.

A while after the election it seemed as though Trumpleby was using the Office of the Presidency to make money for himself. It became necessary to notify him of The Foreign Emoluments Clause and to ask him to stop profiting off his position.

"I would prefer not to," he said, and gently disappeared back into the White House.

For a few moments the people were turned into a pillar of salt. Recovering themselves, they advanced on Trumpleby and demanded the reason for such extraordinary conduct.

"Why do you refuse?"

Trumpleby waved his hands around, shook his head, then replied, "I would prefer not to."

With any other man, the people should have flown into a dreadful passion, scorned all further words, and thrust him ignominiously from the Presidency. But there was something about Trumpleby that not only strangely disarmed them, but in a horrible manner touched and disconcerted them. People began trying to reason with him.

"These are the country's rules we are trying to enforce. It is a job saving to you, because one count of breaking this law will cause you time in federal prison. Is it not so? Will you not speak? Answer!

"I prefer not to," he replied in a whimsical tone. It seemed to me that while I had been addressing him, he carelessly revolved every statement that I made; dully comprehended the meaning; could not gainsay the irresistible conclusions; but, at the same time, some paramount consideration prevailed with him to reply as he did.

It is not seldom the case that when a man is conceited in some unprecedented and violently unreasonable way, he begins to strut in his own plainest faith. He begins, as it were, vaguely to surmise that, wonderful as it may be, all the justice and all the reason may be safely ignored.

"Democrats," said I, "what do you think of this? Am I not right?"

"With submission sir," said the Democrats in their wildest tone, "I think that you are."

"Republicans," said I, "what do you think of it?"

"We think he should stay in office."

Trumpleby vouchsafed no reply. pondered a moment in sore perplexity. But once more business hurried me. I determined again to postpone the consideration of this dilemma to my future leisure. With a little trouble, the country made out to examine the conundrum. Republicans deferentially dropped their opinions that this proceeding was quite common; while Democrats, twitching in their chair with a dyspeptic nervousness, ground out between their sets of teeth the occasional hissing maledictions against the stupid oaf in the Oval Office.

Meanwhile Trumpleby sat in the White House, oblivious to every thing but his own peculiar business there.

I regarded Trumpleby and his ways. Poor fellow! thought I, he means mischief; it is plain he intends insolence; his aspect sufficiently evinces that his eccentricities are involuntary. One prime thing was this, - he was always there; - on the television, in online news forums and social media, continually throughout the day and night. I had a singular confidence in his dishonesty. It was exceeding difficult to bear in mind all the time those strange peculiarities, privileges, and unheard of exemptions, forming the tacit stipulations on Trumpleby's part under which he remained in Office.

Now and then, in the eagerness of dispatching pressing justice, I would conspicuously question Trumpleby, in a short, rapid tone, to stop golfing so often. Of course the usual answer, "I prefer not to," was sure to come; and then, how could a human creature with the common infirmities of our nature, refrain from bitterly exclaiming upon such perverseness - such unreasonableness. However, every added repulse of this sort which I received only tended to lessen the probability of my repeating the inadvertence.

Now, one month, early in his penultimate year in Office, I happened to notice that my citizens were getting sick from a new virus. It was a scary, confusing time for all. When asked if he would issue as mask mandate, he replied "I prefer not to."

When asked if he would abide by social distancing rules, he replied, "I prefer not to."

When asked if he would help provide income, assure housing, and allow all Americans the chance to live through the shut downs with dignity; if he would allow his fellow countrymen to receive the same kind of care – on the taxpayer dime - that he received after testing positive, he replied, "I prefer not to."

"But what reasonable objection can you have to following the direction of scientists and healthcare experts? What is your answer Trumpleby?"

"At present I prefer to give no answer," he said, and retired onto his golf course.

It was rather weak in me I confess, but his manner on this occasion nettled me. Not only did there seem to lurk in it a certain calm disdain, but his perverseness seemed ungrateful, considering the undeniable good usage and indulgence he had received from the taxpayers. On his return from golfing, I said to him, "Say now you will help Americans to-morrow or the next day: in short, say now that in a day or two you will begin to be a little reasonable:—say so, Trumpleby."

"At present I would prefer not to be a little reasonable," was his mildly cadaverous reply.

As time moved forward, another Presidential Election came and went. Days after the event, it was shown that his challenger had won the presidency. This, it seemed, Trumpleby could not accept.

"It has been shown, Trumpleby, that there was no cheating at the polls," said I. "Please stop claiming election fraud."

"I prefer not to."

"It has been shown in courts of law that their was no impropriety from states in counting their votes, Trumpleby," said I. "Please stop claiming election fraud."

"I prefer not to."

"States have certified their votes, Trumpleby," said I. "Please stop claiming election fraud."

"I prefer not to."

"Will you, or will you not, quit the White house?" I now demanded in a sudden passion, advancing close to him.

"I would prefer not to quit the White House," he replied, gently emphasizing the not.

"What earthly right have you to stay here? Did you win the election? Is this White House yours?"

He answered nothing.

He loudly retired to his golf course.

There would seem little need for proceeding further in this history. Social media will readily supply the abundant recital of Trumpleby's following days. But ere parting with the reader, let me say, that if this little narrative has sufficiently interested them, to awaken curiosity as to who Trumpleby was, and what ill manner of life he led, I can only reply, that in such curiosity I fully share, and am wholly able to gratify it. On errands of life, those social media postings speed death.

Ah Trumpleby! Ah humanity!