Good morning, I’m crying. Why? Because of the trailer for The Way I See It, a documentary about former White House photographer Pete Souza and his time working for two (very different) presidents: Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama. Based on Souza’s bestselling book of the same name, The Way I See It documents not only Souza’s career with two presidents, but how he used Instagram to counter Trump’s constant stream of bullsh-t. The trailer features many iconic images of President Obama, and of course I burst into tears because I miss having a real, respectable president who inspires and encourages people. I’ve forgotten what it looks like when people are uplifted by their chosen leader and not constantly degraded and demoralized and oh my god what if we get four more years of this?
At one point, Souza points out that unlike his predecessor, Trump does not let his photographer take pictures of Trump at work. Of course not! Trump never works! Watching Fox News all day is not work, nor is it presidential, and if there was unimpeachable (heh) proof coming from inside his own office that he is doing jack sh-t all day, even his most ardent supporters would have a hard time refuting it. As long as there are no photos, there is plausible deniability. I hate everything about this entire era so much.
Even the stuff with Ronald Reagan makes me a little misty, and he was not a good president and Trump IS his legacy, but at least Reagan wasn’t a 24/7 walking embarrassment. He was at least good at PLAYING the president, if not good at BEING the president. For the most part, Reagan was like any other president—you could forget about him for long stretches of time. (I recognize the privilege in not having to follow, in detail, every single presidential decision, but I MISS not hearing from the president weeks at a time. Do you remember when the president would just go away and we didn’t constantly worry about the destruction of our republic?) The Way I See It comes out in theaters (“comes out in theaters”) in September. I expect to ugly-cry my way through it.