How to Handle Your Ex-President

What to do when an ex-president is particularly immature and refuses to do what his electors want.

Remember how proud you were when you first brought your new president home to the White House? Having a president is one of the most fulfilling things you can do, but even presidents can sometimes drive you crazy with their selfish behavior, especially a one-term, ex-president.

ex-presidentIn most cases, ex-presidents quickly learn to be cooperative and are willing to transition freely. Sometimes, however, an ex-president is particularly immature and refuses to do what his electors want. In such a case, he may rant and rave and even refuse to leave the house.

Frustrating as such a situation can be, resist the urge to yell and scream back as that will only encourage the recalcitrant behavior. Remain calm but stick to your guns.

Consider distracting him by giving him his favorite food or beverage whether that’s an Egg McMuffin or a Diet Coke. If that doesn’t work, try removing his favorite toys such as his golf clubs, his phone or his Twitter account.

One tried and true approach is to have the ex-president’s friends and family members calmly and patiently try to convince him to leave. Unfortunately, in some cases, friends and family are unwilling or incapable of challenging the miscreant.

Some experts recommend ignoring the ex-president and carrying on without him. The thinking is that if he doesn’t get the attention he craves, he will eventually come around and do what’s asked of him. The danger is, of course, that he will become even more agitated and throw a huge tantrum.

Generally speaking, a tantrum is not the end of the world. You can usually just wait it out and step in when the ex-president has exhausted himself. The only caveat is to ensure there are no objects around that he could hurt himself or others with such as questionable appointments, unreasonable executive orders or a nuclear football.

You can always try talking rationally to your ex-president in hopes of convincing him of your preferred option. Remember, though, that you’re dealing with the “terrible not-twos”, in other words, a president who has not won a second term and is very upset about it.

Still, it’s worth a try to talk it out. Maybe you can convince him that he’s potentially damaging his legacy. Or you can tell him it’s OK to step down since you both know that he really did win and is in no way a loser. Best of all, you can generally mollify him by pointing out that he can run for office again in 2024.

All of these options take time and patience. Don’t get frustrated; instead play along and humor him for a while. Let him know that you think that he’d make a great king, emperor or dictator so long as you never actually give in to that wish.

Some may criticize your approach as overly indulgent and accuse you of being a helicopter citizen. But that’s not always a bad thing since if you can ultimately lure your ex-president into a helicopter, you may finally be able to get him out of the House.

David Martin
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