I remember San Clemente. I remember the Ranch. I remember Kennebunkport. I have heard stories about Warm Springs. These were all places that previous presidents retreated to when they needed a break from the action. Whether it was walking along the beach or clearing brush, these places were sanctuaries for the leader of the free world. A place to unwind, to get away from it all. The Western White House. The Southern White House. The Pretty Close Still To Washington D.C. White House. Call them what they were: Vacation homes.
A lot of people, of a certain income, own vacation homes. And some people own other people's vacation homes. I'm not talking about timeshares here. I'm talking about owning a resort. Like the Crown Jewel of Palm Beach, Mar-a-Lago. This exclusive golf club is one of his Royal Hightweet's resorts, featuring ocean views and beautifully landscaped grounds. "Since purchasing this landmark in 1985," the website tells us, "the Trump family has spent many weekends and holidays at their home away from home." And now, it would seem, they have found their White House away from White House.
All of that would be fine if this were some opulent, T-shaped estate of some opulence, with the inclusion of round-the-clock secret service protection. Mar-a-Lago has all that plus. Plus paying guests. Other members of the club who are there paying dues to be able to hobnob with the hoi polloi. It's a golf club, after all, and if you want to shoot eighteen holes in the afternoon and go back to your room to change for dinner at eight, who knows who you might run into.
Maybe even "Rick The Man." You probably won't get close enough to "The President" to snap a photo, but the guy who carries the briefcase containing the launch codes for all our nuclear missiles is, apparently, available. Club member Rick DeAgazio was able to get such a picture, with arms around one another and big smiles, and then he posted it on his Facebook page. So much for that notion that aide-de-camps for the President of the United States have to be all stand-offish and uptight. Why worry about National Security? Why let a little thing like protocol stand in the way of a perfectly nice evening? An evening which saw our "President" discussing strategy with the Prime Minister of Japan just after North Korea test fired a ballistic missile of their own. In front of Rick and a great many other members of the club and their guests. Did they all have their top-secret clearances? Well, they had certainly paid their dues and probably a hefty campaign contribution to the club's owner in addition. Isn't that enough?
I'm all for giving the country back to the people, but I'm not exactly sure this is what I meant.