Where will the Trump presidential library go?
There are two sides to the question of where the eventual Trump presidential library will be built. Where would Donald Trump want it to go? And where would it be allowed to be built?
The two places Trump has chosen to live, New York City and Palm Beach, Florida, are very unlikely to permit construction of what would amount to a monument and pilgrimage site honoring the 45th president of the United States. Partly, that would be based on partisan differences and, face it, the irrational hatred we call Trump Derangement Syndrome. But in the case of Palm Beach, there is also an aversion to crowds, especially what might be perceived as crowds of the hoi polloi.
(I vividly remember the fight over the Kennedy family's plan to build the JFK Library adjacent to Harvard Square in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Despite his status as a martyred hero in the eyes of locals, the fear of hordes of tourists led to rejection of the plan, and the site — a rail yard for the subway that became redundant when an extension of the line was built — eventually housed Harvard's new Kennedy School of Government. The JFK Library went to a somewhat desolate point of land sticking into the harbor.)
It is notable that the parts of the country where Trump is most popular, the South, the industrial Midwest, and the non-coastal West, have the least connection to his places of residence.
A friend suggested that Mt. Rushmore might be appropriate, as it is the inspiring site that Trump used for what may be regarded as his best speech. It is already set up to handle crowds of tourists, and it carries with it a sense of pilgrimage.
Another friend jokingly wondered about foreign countries that would be appropriate for the libraries for the recent presidents:
- GWB - Iraq
- Obama - Iran
- Hillary (had she won) - Russia
- Biden - China
- Trump - Israel
Another wag suggested that wherever the Trump Library goes, it could name various features after the opponents he defeated, such as:
- The Crooked Hillary women's bathroom;
- The Little Marco children's water fountain;
- The Low Energy Jeb room on energy independence; and
- The Joe Biden room for fossils.
Of course, there may be ample space available in Trump Tower, considering the Manhattan real estate market these days and the hostility of New Yorkers to their native son. And there are beautifully sited Trump-owned golf courses.
I take it as a given that Trump won't pull an Obama and try to have two monuments to his presidency. Obama's presidential library is supposed to go to Hawaii, his home state. But most of the fundraising and actual planning has gone into a controversial site on the Southside of Chicago where an odd memorial to him is to be built over the objections of local community organizers, with no books and documents, but plans for midnight basketball.