Imagine a book coming out, or an essay or one-hour presentation with PowerPoint slides. Imagine the information presented said that everyone around President Barack Obama or George W. Bush or Harry Truman or Theodore Roosevelt or Thomas Jefferson thought these men fools. Imagine the person presenting this information claimed that all the president’s men thought he could not do the job, claimed he did not read, claimed he was a “child” that only thought of instant gratification in the moment. Imagine the presenter quoted the president’s men as saying he was a moron, a fucking idiot, and other colorful language to get across that this president was of low intelligence. Imagine the president’s men said he never expected to win the presidency in the first place and only intended to use the campaign afterwards as a catapult for more fame and fortune.
This would be unbelievable. Literally. Because none of this is characteristic of these men. But all of it is of Donald J. Trump.
Originally scheduled for release on January 9, 2018, Michael Wolff’s newest book, Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump Whitehouse, alleges everything listed above and more regarding Donald J. Trump. Excerpts were released ahead of time and I’ve read as much of it as I could find. I haven’t read the book yet but I intend on getting a copy soon. And I can get it today if I want because Trump was so mad about it, he had his lawyers send Wolff and the book’s publisher, Henry Holt, a cease and desist letter. This action only promoted public interest which pushed the publication date to today. As an author myself, I can only wish for such publicity.
At any rate, from what I’ve read in the excerpts and interviews Wolff has conducted regarding the book, there’s almost nothing new here. If you paid any attention at all to Donald J. Trump during the campaign and his first year as president, we already know he’s an instant gratification, attention seeking, self-serving idiot incapable of doing the job of commander and chief. One part I didn’t know was that he eats McDonalds so often because the food is premade; he shows up to get it unannounced and therefore can avoid being poisoned, which he apparently fears. He is also known to curl up in bed with his cheeseburgers as early as 6:30PM, watching three televisions and making phone calls. Did I mention he doesn’t read?
Or how about campaign aide, Sam Nunberg, being sent during the campaign to explain the Constitution to Trump. Imagine having to explain the Constitution to someone running for president?
According to Michael Wolff, the information in Fire and Fury comes from two-hundred conversations over a year and a half with people in and around Trump, including Trump himself. So the data in here is all anecdotal. And we know that anecdotal doesn’t count, at least scientifically as evidence. But it does count in areas like a court of law. So what must be considered is how likely the information is to be accurate and, as I noted above, if it were being lodged against any other president, we’d be wise to be skeptical. But the information fits what we already know about Trump like a glove. But one more word of caution. Just because it fits, still doesn’t make the information in Fire and Fury true. But we don’t need it at all because we already knew.
When it comes to the information in this book, the reader does have to decide who to believe. The author, Michael Wolff, or Trump who’s already taken to Twitter to claim Wolff never even had Whitehouse access. For me, this is easy. Trump has demonstrated the habits of a pathological liar on so many occasions, including inflating the number of floors of Trump Tower which can be checked just by standing outside the building that favoring Wolff’s account is the most logical; that is, until one or more of the many interviewees comes forward to say otherwise or shown to be wrong. Time will tell if any of those Wolff held conversations with will come forward to deny any part of where they are quoted in the book. The fact that Steve Bannon hasn’t denied anything quoted yet is rather telling in itself and much of the information is said to have come from him. And this was while he was in the Whitehouse, cozy with Trump. Not after he was ousted where he might have an axe to grind.
And to think, Gary Johnson and Bill Weld were options in 2016 for those of us who wanted smaller government. But Donald J. Trump wasn’t elected for smaller government. Or for more Republican. No, he was elected because the other major option was Hillary Clinton. No one liked Clinton, not even her own party. Democrats were the largest demographic who stayed home on Election Day in November 2016. And now we’re stuck with a demagogue with a big ego that cares for nothing more than retaining his own image who brags on Twitter his nuclear button is the most bigly.
The election of Donald J. Trump wasn’t for something. It was another vote against something, against Clinton. If only smaller government seekers took the shot with the Johnson/Weld ticket in 2016 we could have really had something.
One final point: The Republican Party nominated this guy. They can claim the open nomination process was flooded by non-real-Republicans all they want but when the final tally came in, they stuck with him. And they continue to stick with him. Even my beloved Rand Paul hasn’t tried to rein him in or say anything that needs to be said. Tribalism at its worst. Why anyone would want to be part of this party at this point in time is a mystery to me. And just watch the 2020 election. If Trump survives to it, they won’t put anyone up against him. The GOP Convention with glowing praise will be nauseating.
Consider this piece to be my last in a now four part series trying to assist conservatives and the Republican Party to act like they claim they want to act. The other three pieces can be found here, here and here. At this point, calling yourself a Republican is suspect. I don’t know what you believe. The word is meaningless.
We already knew who Trump was before Fire and Fury. All this book does is add additional weight to the evidence. The question now is, what do we do about it? If he does last until the next election, what will you do? That’s up to you. But whatever you do, this should be a lesson that looking to government to solve a problem is never the answer. It could end up being someone as inept as Trump making that decision.