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Vilify and divide: ‘The Trump Survival Guide’

“The Trump Survival Guide” has been a #1 bestseller on Amazon since it’s release on January 17. 

Andrew Sciascia
Connector Editor

From President Donald J. Trump’s inauguration to the representative marches of every cause imaginable, the closing weeks of January have been the most eventful and controversial in recent memory.

The current political climate has countless liberal progressives taking a pessimistic outlook on the coming years in the U.S.; they lack hope and purpose. But maybe they are in luck. New York Times bestselling author Gene Stone has provided them with “The Trump Survival Guide: Everything You Need to Know about Living through What You Hoped Would Never Happen.”

A mouthful, a “history lesson” and all-in-all a misguided attempt to slander conservatism in the progressive echo chamber. It is more of the sentiment that created Trump.

Concessions should be made. This guidebook was not written for the conservative audience. Stone says it at the outset, “Most of this book’s readers probably didn’t vote for him. In fact, for a great many Americans, his election was an unthinkable, unimaginable event.”

This may be part of the problem.

Further praise – the content is structured in a manageable way. It is well cited and rhetorically strong. The book is divided up into a dozen chapters centered around key political issues. Each chapter contains a brief history of the issue, how former President Barack Obama dealt with it, what Stone believes Trump will do about it, and how the reader can take up the progressive mantle on the issue.

To be fair, the history lessons are not bad. Each chapter could have probably been summed up in a 10 minute YouTube video by any progressive political analyst. However, despite the strength of the historical segments, they are riddled with parenthetical sidebars slandering every conservative leader and ideal possible.

For a right-leaning reader, it is equivalent to a crash-course lecture from your leftist middle school history teacher. It is factually accurate, with a lot of underlying bias and shade being thrown at the Republican Party.

Stone does his best work at the tail end of each chapter. He lays out what progressives can do to get involved and help the cause. He provides web links that liberals can follow to connect with groups that advocate for their causes. Essential reading lists are provided for the uninformed left-leaning voter to grow their rhetorical knowledge and political expertise.

Yet rather than leaving it at a call to arms for the left, Stone expends nearly 100 pages bashing Republican congressional leadership and virtue signaling to his peers. The problems of this guidebook show through in hypocritical analysis of executive leadership on both sides, and a very weak, divisive conclusion.

In the introduction, Stone explains that he will be analyzing Obama’s actions, how they affected the nation and how he assumes Trump’s will, which initially claims that often times one cannot judge a president’s impact on the nation until decades later. He proceeds just pages later, however, to imply that Obama’s legacy will live on as spectacular and Trump’s will either be inconsequential or horrid.

The hypocrisy crescendos as Stone praises nearly every one of Obama’s executive orders and bills before announcing how he feels Trump will set the nation back countless years. One should not judge a president’s legacy too early. Unless it is Trump. Then proclaim his legacy in print the week he takes office.

There are more backhanded comments and slander in this book than one can shake a stick at.

Not to mention the fact that one would expect the conclusion for a book like this to be a strong, and final call to action, that all five pages of it would be spent rallying the progressive force into re-entering the political discourse, reshaping the dialogue and fighting for what they believe in. This gets one page.

The rest is spent doing exactly what was expected: tearing down the one conservative Stone had yet to attack. Stone explains that the left should do everything in their power to create political gridlock against Trump, yet should not hope for impeachment. Should Trump be impeached, Vice President Mike Pence would become the president, which of course means the only logical thing to proceed this statement is an in-depth vilification of Pence.

All-in-all, it is not a rag. It holds up to scrutiny. But do not pick it up expecting something fresh and new. In fact, it is the same slandering of conservatives as racist and careless that created Trump. Gridlock on Capitol Hill, political correctness, echo chambers and an inability to work together towards a common American goal of exceptionalism in all fields is what gave Trump a foothold.

Taking him as a joke and being shocked he stood a chance of winning is a large part of why he won. Apparently, Gene Stone did not get the message; America will not come together under more of the same.

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