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One Nation After Trump: A Guide for the Perplexed, the Disillusioned, the Desperate, and the Not-Yet Deported

a book by E.J. Dionne Jr. and Norman J. Ornstein and Thomas E. Mann

(our site's book review)

Trump Is Both a Threat to Our Democracy and a Product of Its Weaknesses

The Amazon blurb says that it is a call to action from three of Washington's premier political scholar-journalists, One Nation After Trump: A Guide for the Perplexed, the Disillusioned, the Desperate, and the Not-Yet Deported offers the definitive work on the threat posed by the Trump presidency and how to counter it.

American democracy was never supposed to give the nation a president like Donald Trump. We have never had a president who gave rise to such widespread alarm about his lack of commitment to the institutions of self-government, to the norms democracy requires, and to the need for basic knowledge about how government works. We have never had a president who raises profound questions about his basic competence and his psychological capacity to take on the most challenging political office in the world.

Yet if Trump is both a threat to our democracy and a product of its weaknesses, the citizen activism he has inspired is the antidote. The reaction to the crisis created by Trump’s presidency can provide the foundation for an era of democratic renewal and vindicate our long experiment in self-rule.

The award-winning authors of One Nation After Trump: A Guide for the Perplexed, the Disillusioned, the Desperate, and the Not-Yet Deported explain Trump’s rise and the danger his administration poses to our free institutions. They also offer encouragement to the millions of Americans now experiencing a new sense of citizenship and engagement and argue that our nation needs a unifying alternative to Trump’s dark and divisive brand of politics—an alternative rooted in a New Economy, a New Patriotism, a New Civil Society, and a New Democracy. One Nation After Trump: A Guide for the Perplexed, the Disillusioned, the Desperate, and the Not-Yet Deported is the essential book for our era, an unsparing assessment of the perils facing the United States and an inspiring roadmap for how we can reclaim the future.

American democracy was never supposed to give the nation a president like Donald Trump
American democracy was never supposed to give the nation a president like Donald Trump

The Citizens See the System as Rigged—and They Are Right

Dionne and Ornstein and Mann say that "as long as so many citizens see the system as rigged (a word Trump used to great effect), they will be reluctant to embrace the work of self-governance. This is why we call for institutional reforms to reduce the power of big money in politics and to protect the voting rights of all Americans. But all this will only be possible if citizens once again join the democratic fray in large numbers. Trump’s election called forth an extraordinary mobilization and drew millions of Americans to political engagement. This new era of civic commitment is essential to stopping Trump and reversing the effects of Trumpism. It is also a prerequisite to healing the wounds in our body politic that allowed him to reach the White house."

The system is rigged in ways the authors do not see or, at least, do not wish to discuss. We feel that if Dionne and Ornstein and Mann read this website from one end to the other, the book they wrote would be more realistic, insightful, and complete.

What they wrote is mostly obvious recommendations for responding to the Trump disaster. Their book should help many get their heads straight about this matter. By using the wisdom in such books as Rules for Revolutionaries: How Big Organizing Can Change Everything and Requiem for the American Dream: The 10 Principles of Concentration of Wealth & Power to undergird victories in 2018 and 2020 both, these authors' hopes have a chance of being realized. Without such strategies, they're merely pretty dreams. The authors "call for" institutional reforms to reduce the power of big money in politics. But calling for obviously needed changes is whistling in the dark or, like in the movie Network, throwing open our windows and hollering "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore!"

But merely 'calling for' obviously needed changes is simply whistling in the dark
But merely "calling for" obviously needed changes is simply whistling in the dark


But merely 'calling for' obviously needed changes is like in the movie Network, throwing open our windows and hollering 'I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore!'
But merely "calling for" obviously needed changes is like in the movie Network, throwing open our windows and hollering "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore!"


If the right books and strategies are utilized to undergird victories in 2018 and 2020 both, these authors' hopes have a chance of being realized—without such strategies, they're merely pretty dreams
If the right books and strategies are utilized to undergird victories in 2018 and 2020 both, these authors' hopes have a chance of being realized—without such strategies, they're merely pretty dreams

“If you’re still baffled by how Donald Trump got to live in the White House, or you want to make sure that no one like him ever lives there again—or both—then One Nation After Trump: A Guide for the Perplexed, the Disillusioned, the Desperate, and the Not-Yet Deported is your must-read book for 2017.”—The Guardian

“If someone had hibernated through the 2016 election, woke up early this year and logged onto Twitter or turned on cable news and wondered, what the hell happened?, this would be the book to read. ... An important book.”—The New York Times Book Review

“A good-spirited and thoroughly readable exercise in envisioning a better America.”—The Washington Post

"A trio of acclaimed political scholars and journalists ... offer a unified voice of sanity in a world gone mad. ... A breath of hope but also a serious call to action: everyone needs to take part."—Kirkus Reviews


A Book That Concludes That the Republicans Are the Problem in Washington

"Today’s Republican Party has little in common even with Ronald Reagan’s G.O.P., or with earlier versions that believed in government. Instead it has become 'an insurgent outlier — ideologically extreme; contemptuous of the inherited social and economic policy regime; scornful of compromise; unpersuaded by conventional understanding of facts, evidence and science; and dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition . . . all but declaring war on the government.'" (Source: It’s Even Worse Than It Looks, Kevin Drum, motherjones)

The above look at It’s Even Worse Than It Looks is discussing a book that concludes that the Republicans are the problem in Washington. The Democrats often act in bipartisan ways but the Republicans never do and they blackball any in their party who even thinks of compromise about anything. This rightwing extremism is an embarrassment to our country. Since it entails never respecting democratic principles and working in a bipartisan mode to create legislation, regulations, and laws for the good of the public, but instead childishly insisting on having everything one's own way as if the other party was subhumans or flies to swat and insult, it insults democracy, the Constitution, and the government. Now that they're climate deniers, science deniers, equality deniers and truth deniers to whom fake news is equal to truth, one cannot escape the judgment that these G.O.P. bozos have gone over the top and around the bend. Our conclusion is that they've gone bonkers. See The Party Is Over: How Republicans Went Crazy, Democrats Became Useless, and the Middle Class Got Shafted.

One cannot escape the judgment that these G.O.P. bozos have gone over the top and around the bend—our conclusion is that they've gone bonkers
One cannot escape the judgment that these G.O.P. bozos have gone over the top and around the bend—our conclusion is that they've gone bonkers

As Ornstein and Mann see it, "In the end, while the press can make certain political choices understandable, it is up to voters to decide. If they can punish ideological extremism at the polls and look skeptically upon candidates who profess to reject all dialogue and bargaining with opponents, then an insurgent outlier party will have some impetus to return to the center. Otherwise, our politics will get worse before it gets better." (Source: Let’s just say it: The Republicans are the problem., Thomas E. Mann and Norman J. Ornstein, washingtonpost)


One Nation After Trump Discusses How Trump Won and Where We Go from Here

The first part of One Nation After Trump: A Guide for the Perplexed, the Disillusioned, the Desperate, and the Not-Yet Deported traces the history of how we ended up with Trump as president, which surprised even Trump! The second part of the book is titled "The Way Forward" and it is a reasoned, foot-noted, eloquent plan for how the citizens can move forward with a positive personal and political agenda that avoids the current atmosphere that is dominated by "truthiness", authoritarianism, fake populism, and xenophobia.

Here is what is in One Nation After Trump: A Guide for the Perplexed, the Disillusioned, the Desperate, and the Not-Yet Deported:

Introduction: When a Crisis is an Opportunity: The Perils of Trumpism and the Call to Engagement

Part One: Trump and Trumpism


Draining the Swamp Never Happened—Trump Merely Mucked Things Up

What 'Draining the Swamp' Really Looks Like
What 'Draining the Swamp' Really Looks Like

"Supporters expected a business-trained problem-solver and swamp-drainer but instead got a president who has created a bigger swamp: an autocratic, narcissistic, thin-skinned bully who demonizes people who reject him and whose pants are constantly on fire. . . . [One Nation After Trump: A Guide for the Perplexed, the Disillusioned, the Desperate, and the Not-Yet Deported] is about the effects of Trumpism and how we can respond to this test of American democracy. . . . One more presidential contest where the popular vote is irrelevant, and we could have a new American Revolution on our hands." (Source: Book offers way to restore real American democracy: a review of 'One Nation After Trump', Lewis Wolfson, National Catholic Reporter)

'Humpty Dumpty Trump eventually could fall if compelling questions are raised about how he got up on the wall in the first place,' says author Lewis Wolfson
'Humpty Dumpty Trump eventually could fall if compelling questions are raised about how he got up on the wall in the first place,' says author Lewis Wolfson


'One more presidential contest where the popular vote is irrelevant, and we could have a new American Revolution on our hands,' says author Lewis Wolfson
'One more presidential contest where the popular vote is irrelevant, and we could have a new American Revolution on our hands,' says author Lewis Wolfson

Trump Is a Threat to Our Democracy So Now We Need Citizen Activism

Remember, the authors encourage us with the idea that if Trump is both a threat to what's left of our democracy and a product of its weaknesses, the citizen activism he has inspired is the antidote. The reaction to the crisis created by Trump’s presidency can provide the foundation for an era of democratic renewal and vindicate our long experiment in self-rule.

No one thought the Orange Oligarch would win in November 2016. But he did, so now Trump is rewarding the idiots that voted for him by screwing them even worse than Dubya and Obama had been doing
No one thought the Orange Oligarch would win in November 2016. But he did, so now Trump is rewarding the idiots that voted for him by screwing them even worse than Dubya and Obama had been doing


Think of Trump as an extraterrestrial product quality tester. The fact that we were given two terrible choices in 2016 and many of us chose the narcissistic, authoritarian, sexist, racist, xenophobic, misogynistic accused molester that screwed thousands out of wages on construction jobs speaks volumes. They were saying screw you to the establishment elite 1% that has been screwing the 99% out of money, rights, democracy and privacy for many years. They didn't think the Orange Oligarch would win. But he did, so now Trump is rewarding them by screwing them even worse than Dubya and Obama had been doing.

If USA can survive Trump and respond with citizen activism that causes constructive change, E.T. Trump will score our democracy a 90 out of 100. How can we score 100? Build a time machine and go back and bribe Trump not to enter the 2016 presidential race
If USA can survive Trump and respond with citizen activism that causes constructive change, E.T. Trump will score our democracy a 90 out of 100. How can we score 100? Build a time machine and go back and bribe Trump not to enter the 2016 presidential race. See Fake News: How Propaganda Influenced the 2016 Election, A Historical Comparison to 1930's Germany.

So Trump, the extraterrestrial product quality tester, gets himself elected with Putin's friendly help and then Trump takes a wrecking ball to everything in site, wrecking our nation's best features and crapping all over democracy. The product being tested is—of course—democracy itself. Trump is both a threat to our democracy and a product of its weaknesses. If our democracy can survive him, E.T. Trump will give us a score of 50 out of 100. If it can survive him and respond with lots of citizen activism, E.T. Trump will give us a score of 70 out of 100. If it can survive him and respond with lots of citizen activism, and it is effective and precipitates constructive change, E.T. Trump will give us a score of 90 out of 100.

How can we score 100? Build a time machine and go back and bribe Trump not to enter the 2016 presidential race. As the *T-Rump continues to dismantle democracy we have one main piece of advice: Resist! *T-Rump, not to be confused with the T-Rex, who wants to bite US, while the T-Rump merely wants to bite our wallets while telling us he's giving us an Xmas present.

Think of Trump as an extraterrestrial product quality tester testing democracy. Will we survive Trump and respond with effective activism?
Think of Trump as an extraterrestrial product quality tester testing democracy. Will we survive Trump and respond with effective activism?

Trump and the Republicans Are Taking a Wrecking Ball to Everything in Sight

Trump and his Republican co-conspiritors take a wrecking ball to everything in sight in an attempt to wreck the environment, health care, the economy, jobs, security, rights, First Amendment rights, etc.
Trump and his Republican co-conspiritors take a wrecking ball to everything in sight in an attempt to wreck the environment, health care, the economy, jobs, security, rights, First Amendment rights, etc.


Trump accelerates the process Reagan started: the little guy he promised to help with the economics of trickle down instead got the economics of being TRICKLED ON
Trump accelerates the process Reagan started: the little guy he promised to help with the economics of trickle down instead got the economics of being TRICKLED ON


Trump and his Republican co-conspiritors apply karate kicks of destruction to democracy, freedom of speech and assembly, and press freedoms
Trump and his Republican co-conspiritors apply karate kicks of destruction to democracy, freedom of speech and assembly, and press freedoms

"[Trump's] rise reflects the longer-term trends that have shaped the modern Republican Party: the four-decade war on the 'liberal media'; the delegitimatization of political opponents; the appeals to racism and xenophobia; the hostility to democratic norms. 'Trump is less of an outsider than he seems, and he was building on rather than resisting recent trends within the G.O.P.,' the authors write. 'This history helps explain why so many Republican leaders are reluctant to call out Trump’s excesses and to acknowledge the risks he poses to our political system.' . . . They quote the great civil rights leader Bayard Rustin, the organizer behind the 1963 March on Washington, who once said: 'If we desire a society that is democratic, then democracy must become a means as well as an end.'" (Source: In ‘One Nation After Trump,’ a Study of the Trends Behind His Rise, Ari Berman, ny times)

If we do not resist Trump, we'll all end up facing fascism or even Feudalism: serfs carry royalty
If we do not resist Trump, we'll all end up facing fascism or even Feudalism: serfs carry royalty

In other words, if we want democracy, we should actually practice it, Constitution and all. It's been many decades since we did that. Too many people wrongly believe that democracy is "their job" meaning politicians. While we were busy watching TV, the fox got into the henhouse and had chicken for dinner. It serves us right for hiring a fox to guard the henhouse. If we do not resist all this democracide (homicide committed on our democracy), we will have a fascist government in a decade or two, or maybe our system will end up as Feudalism. Civic commitment is essential to stopping Trump and reversing the corrosive effects of Trumpism. We must remember that U.S. corporations are delighted with Trump's effect on their bottom line due to tax cuts, so if the corporations, our leaders, and the hundreds of sell-outs in Congress are all against citizen activism actions, we've certainly got our work cut out for us!

While we were busy watching TV, the fox got into the henhouse and had chicken for dinner. It serves us right for hiring a fox to guard the henhouse
While we were busy watching TV, the fox got into the henhouse and had chicken for dinner. It serves us right for hiring a fox to guard the henhouse


Resist! If you love the USA, resist Trump's dismantling of democracy!
Resist! If you love the USA, resist Trump's dismantling of democracy!