If you are unaware that Donald Trump is screwing up the federal government with his unorthodox, unsophisticated, un-statesmanlike and inefficient style, you should read Michael Wolff’s new book that has Washington and the entire nation abuzz. If you’ve been reading the newspapers and watching cable news don’t waste your hard earned money on this trash.
In summary I found Wolff to be a dishonorable and vindictive pseudo-journalist no better than the horrible man he has set out to destroy in “Fire and Fury . . .” Wolff wants America to celebrate his writing skills in a book that is nothing more than a 300 plus page tabloid with hateful gossip about every important and influential person affiliated with Trump. Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer must have been gleeful when they read this expose of the president and his merry men and women.
I gave Wolff too much credit to think that he might balance out all the personality attacks with some analysis of Trump’s agenda and the positive effect it’s had on America. It never happened as I slogged through his missive.
Wolff psychoanalyzed the Trump minions and the power groups that formed during the campaign and into the first year of the administration as if he were Sigmund Freud. The infighting between Bannon, Ivanka and Jared, Priebus and all the other members of the Trump team is the real story of the book, along with Trump’s ever changing attitude to each of these individuals.
Let’s be clear: There is no discourse at all about policies, campaign promises, achievements or the health of the nation in Wolff’s work. I suppose the latter issue is of no interest to him. The book is exclusively about the weirdos and sycophants that that surround the president.
This is not to say that every Trump advisor is a scalawag. Many of the people who took positions in the new administration are honorable and interested in public service. Little did they know that Trump was more of an emperor, than a leader of a democratic country. But the temptation to bolster one’s career is seductive, and now his aides struggle to keep the interest of their boss who has a difficult time staying focused.
The book does not fairly assess the performance of the Trump administration. It does not discuss the objectives and initiatives of Trump as he tries to make America great in his own way. The tome is about a very aggressive and self-centered man who pulled off the upset of the Century. Trump was a candidate that rode the wave of dissatisfaction in the country to victory. Today some regret supporting the man and long for the days of more traditional political leadership.
All of Trump’s worst behavior is on display and exploited by Wolff. Americans knew before the book was written that Trump is a compilation of bad personality and managerial traits. Without rehashing all of them, suffice it to say that the president acts more like a despot than a president accountable to a diverse electorate.
Trump needs to be told that he is the smartest man alive every day, even though it’s not even close to reality. He needs servants to tell him his way is the way to proceed on any important issue. He wants to be admired by his billionaire peers. Americans already know the complete list of Trump’s bizarre behavior and desires.
Wolff has unmasked the unbridled ambitions of several people that serve (or served) Trump. The most important odd duck is Steve Bannon, an almost humorous combination of Darth Vader and Yoda that embodies militaristic attitude and political egoism. Bannon tells all who will listen that he made Trump. Per Bannon Trump would have never been elected without his counsel and the administration is going to hell in a hand basket without his continuing mentorship.
For years Trump managed a company inherited from his father with an iron fist. Every employee followed him loyally or was fired on the spot. Trump believes the same tactics that brought him great wealth and notoriety will make him a successful president. The problem is that many of his aides are successful in their own right and will only kiss ass to a degree. Worse is the fact that they are uninhibited and freely leak to the press to advance their own positions. Leaking of information, including classified information by Trump’s staff is a major story line in the book.
Wolff analyzes all the other characters that surround the president. He writes as if he knows everyone’s deepest feelings and ambitions. Nobody could be so insightful about so many. This leads me to believe that Wolff has taken many liberties in his book.
The big question: Is Fire and Fury worth reading? My response is unequivocally no. You may feel left out in the cold if you are unable to say you read Wolff tabloid piece because it is being discussed in many circles. But so what?
If you really want a sense of what the Trump administration is doing regarding any of the major issues impacting the country tune into CNN and FOX to hear the spin of both sides. Chances are someone in the administration leaked information to the reporters.