On Books & Reading: A Few Takeaways from ‘A Very Stable Genius: Donald J. Trump’s Testing of America’

(C) 2020, 2021 Penguin Random House

Hi there, Dear Reader. Happy Humpday. It’s midday here in New Hometown, Florida on Wednesday, August 18, 2021. As usual, it is hot, muggy, and cloudy outside. Currently, the temperature is 89˚F (31˚C) under partly sunny skies. With humidity at 51%  and an east-southeasterly breeze of 9 MPH (15 KM/H), the feels-like temperature is 103˚F (39˚C). A heat advisory is in effect. Today’s forecast: Light rain is expected during the day, and the high will be 95˚F (35˚C). Tonight, light rain will continue, and the low will be 76˚F (24˚C). The Air Quality Index (AQI) is 53 or Moderate.

I have been reading Philip Rucker and Carol Leonnig’s A Very Stable Genius: Donald J. Trump’s Testing of America in dribs and drabs because I never really set aside any chunks of time to find a comfy spot in the house to read. My futon is too hard and uncomfortable to sit and read a book for longer than 20 minutes, and because I now feel like I am a barely tolerated relative rather than a partner to my so-called Caregiver, I don’t go to the living room sofa (the best reading location here) to indulge my passion for reading. So I am reading from the Rucker-Leonnig Trump duology in fits and starts – a chapter from A Very Stable Genius here, and one from I Alone Can Fix It: Donald J. Trump’s Catastrophic Final Year there. It gets the job done, so to speak, but it’s definitely not my preferred way to enjoy books.

I’m still not at a point in which I can write a review of A Very Stable Genius. However, I have already gotten a few takeaways:

  1. Donald Trump did not expect to win the 2016 election.
  2. Trump’s Cabinet was chosen not so much because its members were experienced or competent, but because the President-elect admired their perceived toughness (especially former Marine generals James Mattis and John Kelly, Trump’s picks to head Defense and Homeland Security) or because they would be loyal to him personally.
  3. Trump did not want to be taught how to act like a President and was impatient, petulant, and hapless when others tried to coach him.
  4. Trump wanted to meet with Vladimir Putin almost as soon as he was declared President-elect and to be restrained by his staff from doing so.
  5. Stephen Bannon, the White House’s chief strategist, was thrilled because Trump was not interested in governing. Instead, Trump seemed intent on short-circuiting the system.
  6. Trump enjoyed humiliating his staff in often cruel, sadistic fashion. He fired his first chief of staff, Reince Priebus, on July 31, 2017 – by tweeting it and announcing that DHS Secretary John Kelly would replace him.

Considering that the Trump White House was so dysfunctional and led by a President who was highly disinterested in the duties of the office he had narrowly won in November 2016, I can’t relate to the millions of Americans who think, even today, that Donald Trump was sent by God himself to “make America great again.”  

This sort of propaganda art is unsettling and yet drily amusing.

Then again, I’m not, and have never been, a white supremacist, a homophobe, a registered Republican, a nationalist, an isolationist, a fascist, a misogynist, an angry anti-immigration fanatic, a gun fetishist, or a Fundamentalist Christian.

And I certainly don’t believe that Donald John Trump from Queens was fit to be President.

Published by Alex Diaz-Granados

Alex Diaz-Granados (1963- ) began writing movie reviews as a staff writer and Entertainment Editor for his high school newspaper in the early 1980s and was the Diversions editor for Miami-Dade Community College, South Campus' student newspaper for one semester. Using his experiences in those publications, Alex has been raving and ranting about the movies online since 2003 at various web sites, including Amazon, Ciao and Epinions. In addition to writing reviews, Alex has written or co-written three films ("A Simple Ad," "Clown 345," and "Ronnie and the Pursuit of the Elusive Bliss") for actor-director Juan Carlos Hernandez. You can find his reviews and essays on his blogs, A Certain Point of View and A Certain Point of View, Too.

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