Peter Baker and Susan Glasser published their new book, “The Divider.” Their subject is Donald Trump and how he fumbled through four years pretending to be your president. The reviews praise it as one of the most inclusive accounts of his failed presidency to date.
The 2016 campaign season revealed a fact hidden from most Americans for decades. Only those of us obsessed with what happens in Washington were aware that the once Grand Old Party was imploding. No one who writes about politics predicted what happened on January 20, 2017. We all made the mistake of believing that most Republicans would protect our country from Trump. We were wrong. The entire party displayed a level of hypocrisy never seen before.
Prior to the rigged election on November 8, 2016, most Republicans rejected the idea of a Trump presidency. Throughout the most ugly and embarrassing primary season in American history, the failed businessman revealed himself as the least qualified presidential candidate in history. He exposed the ‘real Donald Trump’ as a racist and a bigot who has a history of sexual deviance as an old, white man who believes women have a single purpose, to serve men. However, after Trump’s pitiful inauguration, these same men and women surrendered their ethics, principles, integrity, and self-respect and handed the worst man in the world the reigns of what was once the respected GOP.
Baker and Glasser point to the most frightening fact of all, Trump remains in control of his MAGA Republicans. It is of no concern to them that the world knows that their party’s leader is a lifetime criminal who created the Washington Mafia which continues to be in control of those who call themselves “Republicans” today.
They also point to the fact that our nation in engaged in a second Civil War which has so far remained ‘bloodless.”
The couple conducted more than 300 interviews at Mar-a-Lago. Here is one small example of what they faced when talking to the world’s biggest liar.
[“When we sat down with [him] a year after his defeat,” Baker and Glasser write, “the first thing he told us was a lie.”
Trump falsely claimed the Biden administration had asked him to record a public service announcement promoting Covid vaccinations. Eventually, he forgot he had spun that yarn. It never happened.]
There is great attention to detailing Trump’s temperament. They claim that much of Trump’s time sitting behind the Resolute Desk was spent raving and raging about things which upset him. One instance revealed both his temperament and his lack of knowledge about nearly everything.
His second Chief of Staff, General John Kelly, was the target of his temper tantrum, and the following exchange was the result. He was demanding unfettered loyalty.
“You fucking generals, why can’t you be like the German generals?”
“The German generals in World War II.”
“You do know that they tried to kill Hitler three times and almost pulled it off?”
His reaction proved he did not.
Baker and Glasser described the relationship between Kelly and Trump in a real but humorous manner.
“Kelly used The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump, a study by 27 mental health professionals, as some sort of owner’s manual.”
The book is an enlightening and very frightening account of how close our nation was to becoming extinct. Trump’s fascist ambitions nearly became a reality. If the coup attempt on January 6, 2021 had succeeded, we would all be clicking our heels and shouting “Heil Drumpf;” reverting to his German surname.
By James Turnage, Novelist
The Guardian: The Divider review: riveting narrative of Trump’s plot against America
Intelligence Squared: Donald Trump: An American Tragedy?
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