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On the cover of his new book, “Crippled America” Donald Trump wears a scowl on his face. Over the protests of his family to use a more positive photo featuring him smiling, Trump selected “the scowl” as he contends there is not much to smile about in the United States today, that we are crippled and need to get serious about fixing our problems. The theme of his book, therefore, is based on the old adage, “You cannot help a patient if he doesn’t know he is sick,” and Trump goes to great length to enumerate the problems facing the country.
I read the book rather quickly as it was just 208 pages and well organized. It was not the most eloquent writing, yet each chapter reads like a Trump speech. Writing a candidate book is an important part of any campaign strategy, but this one gives you a glimpse into the mind of a businessman, not a candidate. This is an important distinction as it becomes obvious he is more concerned with finding pragmatic solutions to our problems rather than following the political ideologues of the left or the right. He writes more like a businessman, and is more interested in common sense than being politically correct.
On page six, he writes, “I’m not a diplomat who wants everybody to be happy. I’m a practical businessman who has learned that when you believe in something, you never stop, you never quit, and if you get knocked down, you climb right back up and keep fighting until you win. That’s been my strategy all my life, and I’ve been very successful following it.”
This is the same attitude he wants America to embrace. He continues by stating, “The fact is I give people what they need and deserve to hear – exactly what they don’t get from politicians – and that is The Truth. Our country is a mess right now and we don’t have time to pretend otherwise. We don’t have time to waste on being politically correct.” (page 8)
It is this no-nonsense, politically neutral approach which has made him a populist, yet has drawn the ire of the press and his political opponents. Because of his wealth, which is itemized in the Appendix, Trump makes it clear he is someone who cannot be bought and manipulated by the media or special interests.
The Preface sets the stage for the book, briefly summarizing the problems of the country, which is something everyone should read to truly understand Trump. You will either agree with him or you will not. Liberals and the media will naturally hate it. Just about everyone else with an open mind will identify with the problems he discusses. In a nutshell, Mr. Trump contends the problems of America are due to a lack of common sense, incompetent self-serving politicians, and lack of leadership. It’s a compelling argument for America to consider.
In particular, Trump takes the media to task and exposes their political inclinations; “They (the American people) have finally figured out that a lot of the political media aren’t trying to give the people a fair representation of the important issues. Instead, they are trying to manipulate the people – and the election – in favor of the candidates they want to see elected. These media companies are owned by billionaires. These are smart people who know which candidates are going to be best for them, and they find a way to support the person they want.” (page 15)
In terms of leadership, he reminds us of one of his principal rules of negotiation, “The side that needs the deal the most is the one that should walk away with the least.” (page 40). He uses this to criticize President Obama’s failures in negotiating with other countries, particularly during the Iran nuclear deal.
Perhaps the most illuminating part of the book, to me, was the description of his values sprinkled throughout it. Without a doubt, he is a confirmed capitalist. One of the mottos by his father left a lasting impression on him, “You do your job, you keep your job. Do it well, get a better job.” (page 94)
He goes on to describe himself, saying, “I don’t make promises I can’t keep. I don’t make threats without following through. Don’t ever make the mistake you can bully me. My business partners and employees know that my word is as good as any contract – and that better go for the other side’s word as well.” (page 138)
His confidence and entrepreneurial spirit comes through the book vividly, something his opposition interprets as conceit. However, such values are typical for most successful businessmen such as Trump.
The chapters discuss such things as the political media, immigration, foreign policy, education, energy, health care, the economy, the 2nd amendment and gun control, our infrastructure, and our values, which I found particularly interesting. Each section reads like a Trump speech, and you get the feeling he is trying to tell the truth to the best of his ability. After listening to his arguments, I couldn’t refute them as they were expressed as common sense.
For every person who loves Mr. Trump, there is another who hates him. This is essentially no different than how the country feels about Mr. Obama. Through this book, Trump is trying to convince his opponents he is not the bogeyman he is portrayed to be by the media.
Liberals promote the stereotype of Trump supporters as racist uneducated red necks, thereby hoping people will not support him. After reading “Cripple America,” you come to understand why main street Americans are tired of the status quo, the gridlock in Washington, the incompetence of the career politicians, and our slippage as a world leader in just about every category. Trump claims it doesn’t have to be this way, that if we took more of a professional business approach we can make America great again.
After reading this book, you get the uneasy feeling that if Mr. Trump is defeated, it would be a refutation of American business in general, and that is something we cannot afford.
Keep the Faith!