"I know that you’ve been very busy lately and may not have had the time to sit down and write your Inaugural Address yet," writes Trek Bicycle Corporation president John Burke to Donald Trump. "I had some time on my hands and took the liberty of taking a swing at it for you."
The resulting speech has been published today on Huffington Post.
Burke describes himself as neither a Democrat nor a Republican, "I am just someone who cares about the future of our country."
He starts the would-be address by stating that the Burke/Trump goal will be to make "America Great Again for every single American" and then went on to make a list of unTrump-like apologies, including to President Obama.
"I spent a lot of time attacking your character and trying to convince Americans that you were not born in this country," Burke imagines Trump saying. "Over the last eight years, you and the First Lady have led this country with incredible honor, dignity, and character. I aspire to be the same kind of role model that you have been and I apologize for my past actions."
Burke’s speech would also have Trump apologising to Hillary Clinton, as well as the Hispanic, Muslim, disabled, and other minority communitie. "I realize that I said some things that were not becoming of the President of the United States," the faux Trump would say, "I apologize for my words and actions and I want you to know that I will be a kind and compassionate President during my years in the White House."
And Burke believes Trump could also make the following admissions:
"Our ability to be a great global citizen and our ability to leave our nation in better shape for our children will only come to fruition if we can rebuild at home. Making America Great Again, will not be easy, and it will require sacrifice from all Americans. We must be honest with ourselves about our current situation. We have a national debt of over $19 trillion. Twenty-two percent of children in America live in poverty. We consume 19 million barrels of oil per day—four times more than any other country in the world. The American Society of Engineers has graded our infrastructure a D+. Our laws are a mess. We have a tax code that is over 74,000 pages long. Our political system is broken. My fellow Americans, we have work to do."
Burke gives Trump twelve pledges to make. The sixth snarks that Trump will fix the legal system because "no one knows the legal system better than me. I have sued more people and have been sued by more people than any incoming President in the history of our great nation."
However, it’s the fifth pledge that might have some in the global bicycle community scratching their heads. Burke doesn’t make Trump say anything directly about bicycle infrastructure, but he does raise the prospect of something radical that even the real Trump would consider going too far: upping the taxation on petrol. He also believes Trump should acknowledge that climate change is real.
"Today I am announcing the Trump Transportation Program to rebuild America for the 21st Century," imagines Burke.
"Over the next five years the TTP will spend $1 Trillion to rebuild our roads, bridges, and basic infrastructure. By doing this, we will put millions of people back to work in good paying jobs and we will return our transportation system, once the envy of the world, back to where it belongs. In a bold move, something that has not been practiced in Washington, we are actually going to pay for this program by raising the gas tax.
"Transportation has been traditionally funded by the gas tax, but no one in Washington has had the courage to raise this tax over the last 24 years. In that time, the cost of construction has increased by 40 percent and the miles per gallon have increased significantly, leaving a massive shortfall in our transportation fund. I will not kick the can down the road to future generations – I am proposing that we raise the gas tax by $1 a gallon. This increase will provide the funds necessary to rebuild America. More importantly, it will affect the demand for gasoline, encouraging the marketplace to reduce the consumption of fossil fuels.
"The time has come for every American to understand that climate change is not a hoax. The ten warmest years in the last 134 have all occurred since 2000. The pressure on our planet will continue to increase as the population grows from 7.2 billion today to 9.7 billion forecasted by 2050."
Burke has previously written to Trump via Huffington Post. In November he wrote twelve pieces of advice for the president elect, shortened versions of the arguments in his book “12 Simple Solutions to Save America”.
Burke may say he is neither Democrat nor Republican but most would consider his ideas to be Democrat-leaning at the very least. His sister, Mary Burke, a former executive in the family bicycle business founded by their father, was the Democratic candidate for Governor of Wisconsin in 2014.