The Day Of The Donald: Trump Trumps America!, by Andrew Shaffer
If one compares this book to the author’s writing in the Obama-Biden mystery series, which takes as its starting point the political afterlife of the previous president and vice president, one can see a great many differences that demonstrate the bias of the author and his poor opinion of his potential reading audience. While Biden and Obama come off relatively well, and certainly sympathetically, Trump appears here as a full caricature. Even though one of the characters correctly notes that Trump is a Beibs when it comes to dealing with bad publicity, the author simply lacks the respect for Trump (and Republicans in general) that he has so obviously for Obama and Biden. As someone who thinks that Trump should get at least the same amount of respect that Obama did, I find that bias to be disappointing but not particularly surprising. The author here shines through in his cowardly writer protagonist, who finds himself involved with various women and put in danger of his life but who is essentially unable to show an interest in the part of the United States that does not exist between New York City and Washington DC. And that is a great shame.
The plot of this novel is ridiculous, something the author is familiar with from some of his other writings. If this book is not as offensive as it could have been, for it could easily have been worse, the book is a dramatization of the worst sorts of fears that Democrats like the author had about Trump’s presidency, including a belief that Trump was a loose cannon who would get the United States involved in all kinds of bellicose foreign policy adventures (far from it) and that Trump viewed himself as above the law, and surrounded by foreign leaks and able to run roughshod over the entire constitutional framework of the United States. Intriguingly enough, the author portrays the Secret Service as being somewhat lukewarm about Trump, signifying some awareness of the coolness towards our president felt by many of the swamp monsters who are a part of the Department of Justice that has proven so problematic in its refusal to execute the executive will. Suffice it to say that the author constructs this story to end somewhat happily for the author, although it is not something bears anything remotely close to reality.
In looking at this book I felt a sense of frustration that in some ways our nation’s laws concerning books was not on the level of Great Britain. I happen to feel that our press and publishing establishment would be far more responsible in its dealings if we had libel laws like that of the United Kingdom, where it was possible for public figures to sue for libel and demand retractions and recompense from irresponsible writers. Sadly, that is not the case here in the United States, as it would make impossible the sort of yellow journalism that we see from the New York Times or Washington Post or other sources. That said, this book is not aimed at the audience of people who actually voted for Trump (unlike the Obama-Biden mysteries, which are aimed clearly at people who are sympathetic to those two bumbling ex-politicians), and that does color the way that this novel is written. As is so often the case in the author’s work, the desire on his part to gain an easy laugh by going after what he views to be an easy target misses the mark in a variety of ways, not least the way that he demonstrates a great deal of disrespect and a lack of understanding for whose whose political worldviews are very different from his own.