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It's Even Worse Than You Think, What the Trump Administration Is Doing to America, written by David Cay Johnston, and narrated by Danny Campbell. David Cay Johnson is an investigative journalist, a specialist in economics and tax issues, and winner of the 2001 Pulitzer Prize for Beat Reporting. He previously wrote a book warning of the narcissistic person of Donald Trump was a debase person; “The Making of Donald Trump.” That book tells of Trump’s history as a callow hooligan. It spent much print time on reporting Trump’s interactions with mobsters in the northeast. According to Johnson members of the Cosa Nostra. Notwithstanding Johnson’s reporting, and because we did not listen when there was time to listen, thug Trump is now lawbreaker President Trump. Johnson finds that Trump has evolved since those days. His present-day heavies are not Italian but rather Russian mafia. According to Mr. Johnson, this evolution has taken us, from a threat to our judicial structures, to a takedown of our overall American ways or if you rather, our being a source of hope for the innocent of this world.
This book should only be read by those looking for more than a story. This is a listing of Trump administration policies, and a point by point, explanation of its fallacies, and an examination of why each falsity is does us as a society wrong. For example, when talking about taxes, Mr. Johnson, explains the administration policy in their own words and then explains the concepts of taxation and codes sections to show the administration’s ignorance. The same with international trade and a dozen other topics. Magnificently designed but worth the read? Only if you want substantive arguments. If you are a little slow in the mind this book may be too much for you.
There is something very strange here. Even though we are talking of evil in this book, it seems, according to Mr. Johnson, few speak challenge to the narcissistic Trump. It is difficult to speak truth to power. Thus, by violating our laws, and institutional norms, the President is protecting himself and his wrongful ways. There are those who can speak, and have a constitutional duty to do so, such as the Speaker of the House Paul Ryan or the Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell. Their positions should protect them from protecting our constitutional norms. They choose to be obsequious to the wrongs of the President, notwithstanding their duty to our union. Why? Achievement of their policies are more important than protection of our democracy. This reading, or at least the subject matter of the ignorance of our President and his administration to the truth, to scientific proof, to legal structures and custom, let’s us realize the present executive and his administration are an abhorrence. This reminds me of a James Comey statement: “makes me mildly nauseous.”
The book seems to report our Constitution has a flaw. Our forefathers never promoted political parties. Yet, they came into being. Thus, the unanticipated vehicle, political parties, provide a system to obey tyranny so long as one’s political theories are being deployed. It is a weakness that may destroy our democracy.
I personally think the reader’s cadence, that was Danny Campbell’s reading, was awful. Yet the content allows one to bear that burden.
16 of 18 people found this review helpful
David Cay Johnston is a working journalist who has covered Donald Trump for decades, and has written two previous books about him. In this book, he looks not at Trump's personal life and all the possible, ah, colorful details, which at this writing are much in the news, but strictly at his actions as President, and his business dealings that explain and illuminate those actions.
This is very much a fact-based book, examining what Trump has actually done, and the practical effects, as well as the direct contrast between Trump's specific and oft-repeated campaign promises to help, for instance, students struggling under student loans or workers who aren't finding jobs because companies have moved those jobs overseas, or to help small businesses, and what his policies really are. Trump has appointed Betsy DeVos to head the Dept. of Education. She has no real education experience, but is deeply involved in for-profit education companies. Under Trump and DeVos, President Obama's progress toward protecting students from predatory loan practices by for-profit schools are being reversed, not improved. This is just one easily summarized example. To fully understand this example and others, Johnston's careful detailing of the actions, their background, and their effects are necessary.
He lays out Trump's many conflicts of interest, and the extent to which Trump's approach to the Presidency is truly different not just from our most respected Presidents, but even from the ones we've considered incompetent or corrupt. We see how tangled, contradictory, and profoundly unhelpful his immigration actions and policies are to the American workers he has promised he will help with those immigration policies are. Again, another example, one better understood with Johnston's detail and context than in a short review.
This is an important book. It is fact-based, not ideology-driven. You will learn by reading or listening to it.
I bought this audiobook.
17 of 20 people found this review helpful