If you want to read a thoughtful analysis of the first year of Donald Trump’s presidency, then this is the book to choose, not Michael Wolff’s Fire and Fury.
Frum’s analysis comes across more in sorrow than in anger. The US finds itself where it is today because politicians lost touch, and Donald Trump ro
de a wave of discontent into the White House. That has had (and will continue to have) serious ramifications for America and the world.
There are aspects of the Trump presidency I hadn’t considered before, especially the financial implications of a businessman who stands to profit from his time in office. Not being an American I don’t have the vested interest that would have had me follow that more closely. Still, after reading Trumpocracy, the lack of transparency in Trump’s financial dealings worries me more now than it did before. His assault on the American political system though is much more worrying, though I am not sure that people will understand the serious future implications, even after reading this book.
Trump has been successful despite the labels attached to him; racist, sexist, liar, traitor – his supporters stand with him as he attempts to deconstruct the American republic. Frum in his analysis does not portray Americans in a positive way. Yes, Trump has in many ways swindled them, but they wanted to be swindled. The unstated premise is that unless they wake up they will be swindled again, and next time it will be worse.
Frum is, at the end, cautiously optimistic. He thinks good can come from the Trump presidency, including increased public participation, a new understanding of the importance of truth and a revitalized Republican party. I admire his optimism, though I must admit I’m a little skeptical that people really will change. It might be better if the Republicans followed the Whigs into oblivion. The face of America epitomized by Donald Trump isn’t a pretty one and it might be better to start fresh rather than put lipstick on the pig.
This is not a scholarly work but rather an extended piece of journalism and analysis. The facts are a matter of public record already. The insights are what raises this book above Michael Wolff’s or Hillary Clinton’s efforts.
It is easy to tell someone what has happened. It Is far more difficult to explain why. David Frum, with Trumpocracy, has done a good job explaining why the world has changed with Donald Trump’s election.
We can only hope he is right that the change isn’t permanent.