A Trump Presidential Library

Closing Thought–11Feb21

First of all what is a presidential library?

Presidential Libraries are archives and museums, bringing together the documents and artifacts of a President and his administration and presenting them to the public for study and discussion without regard for political considerations or affiliations. Presidential Libraries and Museums, like their holdings, belong to the American people.

Many Presidential papers and records had been lost, destroyed, sold for profit, or ruined by poor storage conditions. In 1939, President Franklin D. Roosevelt sought a better alternative.

Congress legislated this policy, passing the Presidential Libraries Act in 1955. Through archives, museums, and public programs, Presidential Libraries continue to preserve the documents and artifacts of our Presidents, helping us learn about our nation and our democracy.

In short it is a storage vessel for all the presidential papers and awards and such…..and full owned by the people of the US through the National Archives.

Now that you know what these are the next question will be will Trump build a library?

Since most of his “actions” were Executive Orders so that he could pull an end run on Congress….maybe he will just paper a wall or two with the orders….since he signed few actual laws passed by Congress the library will be a very small place like the man that held the office of president in the last four years.

Then most of his policies were in Tweets then another room with his Tweets reproduced on a wall….

These places are for research and education….so what will be in a Trump library?

Since presidents worry about their legacy…..the library becomes one way to influence and control that legacy.

Presidential libraries are perfect examples of just how far presidents will go to control their own legacies. Since the first one was created in 1941, what were intended to be serious research centers have grown into flashy, partisan temples touting huckster history. Built with undisclosed, unlimited donations, often to sitting presidents, libraries have traditionally been donated to the government after their construction. But even though they are taxpayer-funded and controlled by a federal agency, the private foundations established by former presidents to build the libraries retain outsize influence. The libraries’ whitewashed exhibits are created by presidential boosters; they host political events; their boards are stacked with loyalists; and many of their important historical records may never see the light of day.

The federal government spends about $100 million a year operating, maintaining and improving presidential libraries. But the costs to build and equip them—which have doubled for each successive president in the past 30 years and now run in excess of $500 million—must come from non-federal sources. That’s not a sum one can raise through $25 internet donations; presidential libraries are funded by mega-donors.

Trump does have mega-donors…..but will they come to the rescue of a Trump Library?

Sadly I cannot think of much that will go into a library to preserve Trump’s legacy….if it helps whitewash his legacy then the library would be one or two rooms at most…..or a broom closet with a laptop on a small table.

There has an opinion piece that basically states that there will be NO Trump presidential library….

Every president since FDR has had a presidential library, and Barack Obama is currently working on his version of one to continue the tradition. What about Donald Trump? The Washington Post reported earlier this month that Trump likes the idea of raising $2 billion from his grass-roots supporters and opening one in Florida. But in a lengthy piece at Politico, Anthony Clark—author of a book on presidential libraries—assesses the chances and concludes that a Trump library probably won’t happen. No, it’s not because Trump famously doesn’t spend time reading books—”presidential libraries aren’t that kind of library,” notes Clark—or because of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. It’s because the process is way more expensive and complicated than you might think, and the particulars don’t seem well suited to Trump.

“If he does build a library, it’s likely Trump would want the legitimacy and imprimatur of the federal government, as a ‘seal of approval’ for his story, told his way,” writes Clark. For that to happen, Trump would have to raise the money, buy the land, have it built, raise hundreds of millions more for maintenance—”and give it, almost unthinkably, to the government.” Trump also could opt to go his own way, outside the National Archives system, as Obama is attempting to do. But the upkeep gets expensive in perpetuity, as the Richard Nixon library (which started independent, then joined the rest) found out. Clark floats the idea that Trump might take a more “Trumpian” route: He could license his name to “a for-profit enterprise—maybe a casino, or a golf course, or a ticketed museum with an attached hotel—to operate as a tourist attraction for the MAGAs and the (morbidly) curious.” (Read the full story

What do you think would be included in a Trump Library?

Learn Stuff!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

11 thoughts on “A Trump Presidential Library

      1. A taxpayer funded monument to his administration (or rather, himself)? I think there will be one, even if someone else takes over actually putting it together. Might be totally digital like most of Obama’s library. A physical location, though? That might be tougher to picture.

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