Here’s your Main Course book for the beginning of 2018:
Michael Wolff’s novel about the first year of Donald Trump’s Presidency is probably the most depressing book I’ve read in a decade. I’d expected a book covering in-depth moments inside the house at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, top secrets revealed, as well as conspiracies exposed—It’s the reason I bought the book in the first place! What I got was a staggering look into a presidency that is made up of accidents and reflexive decision-making. It’s a runaway Motorcade with no one behind the wheel.
Wolff begins with explaining that Trump’s motive for running for President was to brand his name internationally, that’s it. That’s all. Trump didn’t think he’d win. No one around Trump believed he could (except for Melania, the man’s third wife, who dreaded the whole thing). In fact, Donald Trump was just as surprised as everyone else.
Since the win, all those surrounding Trump don’t know what to do, including the man himself. No one can guide the President, explain things to him and how things work on the hill—except for Steve Bannon who doesn’t know how the White House works but has a loud opinion about how it should and has since been fired (like anyone else with a differing opinion from Trump or his kids). Instead, Wolff alleges that Trump is inundated with individuals whispering their agendas in his ears and the last one Trump speaks to, or the one with the most vivid picture (not figuratively) is the one he follows. Horrifying!
If Wolff is to be believed (and I think he can be) Trump’s White House is one constructed out of eggshells all must walk across. One cannot deliver bad news to the President. They must spin it to present it in the best possible light because Trump simply can’t handle bad news. Trump is bored, impatient, and just plain dumb. There was no conspiracy planned between Trump and Russia to win the campaign because the man and his assembly are merely incapable of hatching one.
It’s strange, but once I finished the book, I was left hollow—knowing that nothing that has happened since Donald Trump took office was anything but a series of happenstance left me wounded somehow. I suppose, deep down inside, I was hopeful that there was reason, thought, or a plan of any sort in place—even if I don’t support Trump, never have. Instead, I learned that the clown in the White House is just that, a joke and we should be terrified—not laughing.
I recommend this book like someone witnessing a train wreck—take a look, but be aware that you might be the one who doesn’t come out unscathed.