When Donald Trump Became President

Many pundits have opined on the exact moment Donald Trump became president. Some point to his well-received congressional address as the moment he became president. Others argue, erroneously, that he became president the moment he was sworn in and forced Joe Biden out of town on an Amtrak train. As a former president, I can tell you all these people are wrong.

“Becoming president” isn’t something that happens to you, it’s something that you do to the world. George W. Bush became president when he stood upon the rubble of the World Trade Center with a megaphone. Barack Obama became president when he dispatched the mission that killed Osama Bin Laden. I became president when I told the world not to mess with America, and dressed as the toughest person I could think of: a cowboy with an enormous hat.

Donald Trump became President last week when he launched 59 Tomahawk missiles. Where did those missiles land? I don’t know. I’m sure somebody does. That’s not important. An aggressive show of force is what turns a normal man into a President. The moment he made the call to launch those missiles, he became the President of the United States. Unless all those missiles land neatly back in their missile tubes, he’s the president for the next four years. Or until someone else launches 60 missiles. Whichever comes first.

Some within the beltway might argue that it also matters where the missiles landed, the impact it had on the intended target, and how the strike fits into the larger geopolitical situation in the Middle East. To them I say “Babe Ruth”.

Babe Ruth wasn’t the Sultan of Swat because of where he hit home runs. He was the greatest because he hit home runs. Did some of his 714 home runs hurt innocent people? Probably. Were some of them planning on using chemical weapons? Also probably. We didn’t love the Babe because of who or what he hit with the ball. We loved him simply because he hit the ball hard. Just like The Great Bambino, our current president is a bloated, mustard fingered New Yorker who will be remembered for one thing: hitting the ball hard.