A Warning

A Warning

Book - 2019
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"An unprecedented behind-the-scenes portrait of the Trump presidency from the anonymous senior official whose first words of warning about the president rocked the nation's capital"--
Publisher: New York, New York : Twelve, ©2019.
ISBN: 9781538718469
Characteristics: 259 pages ;,24 cm.

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k
Ky68RasK
Aug 06, 2020

Well, it's all here: the ignorance, the spitefulness, the authoritarian streak, the corresponding admiration for authoritarian figures, the attack against democratic institutions, etc.

But now, we also have his appalling mismanagement of this country's worst crisis since the 2008 financial crash and the continued stoking of division by sending federal troops to a Democrat-run city all the while raising the alarm about anarchists seeking to harm America.

Will anybody with half a brain vote for this creep? I don't think so. Will his base still do so?
"You betcha!" (Thanks for the phrase, Sarah Palin, mental giant #2)

l
LibMiner73
Aug 06, 2020

The author’s dedication is “To my children and the forthcoming generation, whose responsibility it will be to ensure freedom’s torch remains lit and – as many Americans have before them – undertake that it be passed to the next.”

The author is clearly a long-term member of the Republican establishment serving at or near the cabinet level in the administration of the 45th President. The book is written in a nonpartisan, nonconfrontational style. The author assumes that the reader can separate loyalty to country from loyalty to a man. I believe an independent reader will likely conclude based on tone and content that the author is motivated by loyalty to country. Chapters discuss an administration struggling and failing to keep policy and pronouncement within guardrails. Actions documented in the public press are confirmed with some elaboration. POTUS’s personal traits and their consequences are addressed. Those wishing to forego the event, character details and cast of character can benefit from reading only the Introduction the chapter “We the Electorate” and the Epilogue.

One of the more chilling chapters opens with this quotation: “If we are to have another contest in the near future of our national existence, I predict that the dividing line will not be Mason and Dixon’s, but between patriotism and intelligence on the one side, and superstition, ambition, and ignorance on the other.” - attributed to Ulysses S. Grant. The message is that while author feels she has made a case that POTUS should not be reelected, what about the electorate? Are we unable to put country first in our own behavior and change the toxic politics we cause? Will we be the first generation to fail to pass the torch of freedom? The author offers a few suggestions each of us can implement.

To wit: “Americans worried about a second term of [POTUS] have another choice on Election Day . . . There is one final option for preventing him from wreaking havoc for another four years if he’s reelected. It’s an insurance policy, and it will be right in front of you when you step into the voting booth. Look Down. Democracy’s next-best safeguard is the rest of the ballot. Don’t focus solely on your pick for the nation’s highest office and play roulette with the rest of the candidates running for US Senate, the House, state offices and so on. You must consider which of these people are ready to lead. Are they prepared to keep the president and our executive branch in check? Will they be unafraid to speak the truth? Do they have the honorableness to and decency that have become endangered traits in today’s politics? If we exercise good judgment on the rest of the ballot we can better protect our country’s institutions and its future.” Seems right!

As for our ongoing responsibility: “Our country has been saved, time and time again, by the generations that picked us up before we could get run over. Now it’s our turn to the same for the next generation. We need to get serious about preparing our children for the biggest job title they’ll ever have – Citizen. It’s no exaggeration suggest, as my [history] teacher once did, that our very lives depend on it.” Also right!

This book has value for the author’s insider observations and comments on how each of us can interact to with others to build a better democracy. Please read this book before you vote in November, 2020.

m
mswrite
Jul 27, 2020

Yeah, well.

As others have pointed out, unless you are a see no evil-hear no evil Fox News loving MAGA hat- wearing Trumper, there is not a whole lot revealed in this book about the malignant narcissist known as Donald J Trump, the alarming devolution of his administration, and the appalling avarice and/or cowardice of the current Republican Party (with a very few notable exceptions) about which we didn't already know. "A Warning" is an interesting if depressing read nevertheless and I will admit to remaining curious about the identity of the author.

But I really began to lose patience toward the end, with Anonymous's rather self-congratulatory remarks about how the Republican Party responded to the Obama administration.

Anonymous actually takes bows for being among the GOP lawmakers who decided the only way to process Barack Obama's historic 2008 election was to stand in opposition to every single thing he tried to accomplish while in office.
This was deliberate strategy, decided before the Obama family had even moved into the White House in January 2009. It held true even when then-President Obama tried to reach across the aisle, repeatedly inviting Republican leaders to join him in making policy that would, ironically, have benefited their own constituents. But, no--nothing mattered to the GOP except to undermine Obama to such an extent that American voters would lose confidence in him, thus making him a one-term president, allowing the GOP to regain the White House. Remember that?

Anonymous is a compelling writer but is no hero (or heroine, as the case may be). Remember that.

z
zipread
Jul 24, 2020

I’ve just finished reading A Warning. What an expose. It paints the picture of a president run amuck; a president on life support intellectually, morally, incompetently and in so many other ways. Clearly, mechanisms ought to have been in place to exclude such an unsuitable character from high office. Reading this book up here on the tundra I suspect I have as good a view of the transpiration south of the forty-ninth parallel. And it saddens me that this man could have been elected by slightly fewer than the American electorate. The U.S., to be great again, can no longer afford presidents like Trump. Instead of becoming great again this man has set the course for the United States to continue being the world’s laughing stock.

d
dirtbag
Jul 09, 2020

I am hoping that he will not get a second term. As the author says, if he gets a second term there will be no controlling him because he will have nothing to lose. The two last chapters are the heart of the book.

t
TechWriter1
Apr 08, 2020

This book chronicles the chaos in the Trump White House from inauguration to almost the present day. Most of the stories are not new but the author, an anonymous self-described Republican WH staffer, details and organizes the chaos into a disturbing picture. We learn about President Trump's daily excesses, the attempts by his senior staff to prevent him from illegal and poorly conceived actions, and the gradual spiral into the Hell we experience today. Trump has now shed the staff who sought to course-correct his worst impulses. He has replaced them with sycophants and abettors who seem happy to do his bidding without question. Additionally, many Republican lawmakers and leaders who were initially appalled by Trump have now dismissed their integrity in favor of opportunities for partisan gain or out of fear of Trump’s reprisals should they disagree with him. The author states support for some of Trump’s policies but seems horrified by the President’s destructive actions. And, it is American democracy that is being destroyed.

m
mighty_mom
Mar 03, 2020

This is a sad telling of the tale of Donald Trump, trying to be president. As many have said, there is no "new" news here. It is surprising how anyone can work in such a toxic environment. Even the anonymous author admits to being an apologist for Trump's behavior. One can only imagine the vitriol that will emerge in the books written by Trump's yes men after he's out of office

a
AnneCarolineDrake
Feb 22, 2020

Trump believes Victoria Coates wrote the book. She was reassigned to the energy department this week as part of his post-impeachment sweep.

The book gets just three stars from me because much of it is a rehash of news we all know.

However, the author gives the most clear-eyed assessment of Trump that I've read. The "warning" is that Trump is a tyrannical leader with authoritarian tendencies. We all need to take off our rose-colored glasses and to stop chalking up his bizarre actions to ignorance. He knows exactly what he's doing: he's installing himself as our nation's first dictator. He doesn't give a damn for the Constitution, separation of powers, or the rule of law.

He bullies people into submission and extracts revenge against those who get in his way.

It doesn't appear that anyone in DC or in the press intends to stop him. It is up to We the People to preserve democracy. On Super Tuesday, we'll discover whether Democrats have the good sense to nominate someone who will defeat him in November.

Our democracy is on the line.

i
Intrepid12
Feb 19, 2020

I can sum up this extraordinary read simply by saying it's: Everything you wanted to know about Donald Trump, but were terrified to ask.

s
SmartyJo
Feb 11, 2020

A must-read during this 2020 election year!

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Quotes

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j
jimg2000
Jan 20, 2020

In these pages, I’ve done my best to provide an unvarnished assessment of Donald Trump and his presidency based on my own observations and experience, not baseless rumors.
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Removing my identity from the equation deprives him of an opportunity to create a distraction. What will he do when there is no person to attack, only an idea?
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Two traits are illustrative of what brought the Steady State together: the president’s inattentiveness and his impulsiveness.
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Trump was all over the place. He was like a twelve-year-old in an air traffic control tower, pushing the buttons of government indiscriminately, indifferent to the planes skidding across the runway and the flights frantically diverting away from the airport.
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Great deeds can be done by imperfect men. We just need to decide whether it’s worth it.

j
jimg2000
Jan 20, 2020

Athens was the cautionary tale of how self-government could go wrong. It was an example of “direct democracy,” a society where the majority ruled and where citizens participated personally in the assembly, voting on the issues of the day by raising their hands. At first this was revolutionary, but in time, a herd-like mentality overcame the system. In the heat of the moment, the passions of the people could turn them into an angry mob, leading the majority into destructive decisions that proved to be their undoing.
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We’ve grown impatient with our bureaucracies, with our Congress, and with one another. We’ve retreated into ideological corners. At the same time, the decisions we face are not routine; they are of the highest consequence, from an exploding federal debt to protracted foreign conflicts.

j
jimg2000
Jan 20, 2020

Let’s say April 1, 2018. That week his Papers will record that the president blasted ABC News, CBS, CNN, MSNBC, NBC, and the Washington Post ( all individually ) as “fake news”; blamed online retailer Amazon for stores closing “all over the country”; ridiculed the “money-losing” US Postal Service; mocked former US trade negotiators as “foolish, or incompetent”; denounced Mexico on immigration and threatened to cut off their “cash cow, NAFTA”; lamented his own Justice Department and FBI as “an embarrassment to our country ”; and rounded it off by deriding his predecessor as “Cheatin’ Obama. ”
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“The President hears a hundred voices telling him that he is the greatest man in the world. He must listen carefully indeed to hear the one voice that tells him he is not.” — Harry Truman

j
jimg2000
Jan 20, 2020

When you bump into former officials in the course of Washington business, they ask what it’s like to operate in this type of environment. I’ll tell you. It’s like showing up at the nursing home at daybreak to find your elderly uncle running pantsless across the courtyard and cursing loudly about the cafeteria food, as worried attendants try to catch him. You’re stunned, amused, and embarrassed all at the same time. Only your uncle probably wouldn’t do it every single day, his words aren’t broadcast to the public, and he doesn’t have to lead the US government once he puts his pants on.
===
I will be the first to say that political opponents have clouded our ability to judge the president’s statements fairly because they have a knee-jerk reaction to everything he says. To them, it’s all a lie. That’s not accurate. Everything the president says is not a lie, but an awful lot of it is.

j
jimg2000
Jan 20, 2020

What is troubling about the president is not that he came into office with so little information about how it runs. It’s that he’s done so little to try to learn more in order to do his job.
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A Washington Post analysis found that after nearly nine hundred days in the White House, the president made a staggering eleven thousand junk claims. This averages out to more than ten half-truths or untruths a day. While some Americans have grown skeptical of a media that seems to attack President Trump relentlessly, this figure is based on objective analysis of his own words, words that can be proven inaccurate or flat-out wrong.
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The president has been called a pathological liar. I used to cringe when I heard people say that just to score political points, and I thought it was unfair. Now I know it’s true. He spreads lies he hears. He makes up new lies to spread. He lies to our faces. He asks people around him to lie.

j
jimg2000
Jan 20, 2020

Kellyanne Conway unintentionally summed up this Trumpian philosophy beautifully. She went on Meet the Press and was forced to defend the president’s absurd boast about having the largest ever crowd at his inauguration. To be clear, the president’s claim was easily disproven by facts and photographs and numbers and recorded history and basic human reasoning. Still, Chuck Todd pressed Conway on the subject, to which she responded: “You’re saying it’s a falsehood … [but] Sean Spicer, our press secretary, gave alternative facts.” “Wait a minute, ” Todd interjected. “Alternative facts? … Alternative facts are not facts. They’re falsehoods.” She chided the host: “Your job is not to call things ridiculous that are said by our press secretary and our president. That is not your job.” In other words: We said it, so it’s true.

j
jimg2000
Jan 20, 2020

The most recent study found “there is virtually no common ground in the priorities that rise to the top of the lists” between the two sides. Democratic respondents said our nation’s biggest challenges were health care, education, the environment, Medicare, and poverty. Republicans said they were terrorism, the economy, Social Security, immigration, and the military. It’s the least amount of crossover the Pew Research Center has found since it began tracking these metrics more than two decades ago.
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Our capacity to reason — to see through falsehoods — is one of our sturdiest ramparts against threats to democracy. Without it, our republic is vulnerable to creeping encroachments of authoritarianism. Trump’s words have already undercut the independence of the judiciary, excused the overreach of executive power, and chipped away at public trust in government. They are also being used to attack our last hope for truth: the free press.

j
jimg2000
Jan 20, 2020

He once said, “See, I don’t think that the mainstream media is free speech either because it’s so crooked. It’s so dishonest. So to me, free speech is not when you see something good and then you purposely write bad. To me, that’s very dangerous speech, and you become angry at it. But that’s not free speech. ” That, of course, is the very definition of free speech — being able to criticize a president when he doesn’t like it.
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“Mob-rule is a rough sea for the ship of state to ride,” an American historian once wrote. “Every wind of oratory stirs up the waters and deflects the course. The upshot of such a democracy is tyranny or autocracy; the crowd so loves flattery, it is so ‘ hungry for honey, ’ that at last the wiliest and most unscrupulous flatterer, calling himself the ‘protector of the people,’ rises to supreme power.” That’s when self-government implodes.

j
jimg2000
Jan 20, 2020

We all know that people are dumber and crueler in large groups. Trump plays this to his advantage by directing the violent energy toward whatever careless end he wishes. When the pixelated pitchforks get raised, truth becomes the first victim. Irrationality takes over. That’s how the president turns his own fake news into instantaneous reality. His falsehoods get retweeted by the tens of thousands before the fact-checkers wake up.
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When the president talks about people he wants to keep out of America, he tends to bring up Latin America, Africa, or Middle Eastern nations. When he tells the public about places he loves — countries whose citizens he would happily welcome in large numbers — he tends to talk about European nations, especially white, wealthy Nordic countries. I still don’t think he’s a hardline racist, but draw your own conclusions.

j
jimg2000
Jan 20, 2020

Many other elected conservatives chimed in throughout the campaign, calling the Republican nominee a “bigot,” “misogynist,” “liar,” “unintelligent,” “inarticulate,” “dangerous,” “fraud,” “bully,” and “unfit” for the presidency. One Republican had especially blunt words as the clock ticked down to Election Day. He said he only supported Trump out of antipathy toward Hillary Clinton. “I’m doing so despite the fact that I think he’s a terrible human being.” Donald Trump is “absolutely not” a role model, the conservative leader declared. In fact, he is “[one] of the most flawed human beings ever to run for president in the history of the country.” The speaker was South Carolina congressman Mick Mulvaney. Roughly twenty-four months later, Mick would become Donald Trump’s third chief of staff.

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