I just finished Donald Trump’s latest book, “Crippled America”, where he lays out the platform of his presidential campaign. If you’ve seen his debate performances and interviews, there isn’t a whole lot of new material in the book, but it is nicely organized, and some of the ideas are covered in more depth than I’ve seen. I thought that rather than a review, I’d give a synopsis of the content with one section for each chapter of the book.
Note that these are not my opinions; I’m merely trying to report on what is in the book.
Preface: You’ve Got To Believe
In the preface, Trump outlines what he considers the problems crippling America to be, then briefly makes his case for the presidency.
1. Winning Again
This chapter is a call to action, and reiterates that Trump is self funded and only cares about the people, not the special interests.
2. Our “Unbiased” Political Media
Trump stakes out his position as an underdog and calls out some of the biased coverage (for example, how his comments on illegal immigrants were portrayed as comments about all immigrants, and even all Mexicans). He also takes a few stabs at the establishment politicians. My favorite: “It’s as if they’re speaking from a script titled ‘How Boring Can I Possibly Be?”.
3. Immigration: Good Walls Make Good Neighbors
The chapter reiterates the call for strong borders, and that Trump strongly opposes illegal immigration, but “loves” legal immigration. He also restates his position against anchor babies (automatic citizenship for children of illegal immigrants born in the US). His justification is that letting illegal immigrants get away with jumping the queue is unfair to the more deserving legal immigrants who go through the proper process.
4. Foreign Policy: Fighting for Peace
Trump states his plan to build up the US military, yet tempers it with the statement that America should only intervene in a conflict if there is a direct threat to her national interests. He talks about how he would deal with ISIS and China. I found this chapter short on facts, partly because Trump hides behind the need to keep his negotiating strategies secret.
5. Education: A Failing Grade
Trumps education policy is simple: kill common core (the federal standard for eduction), eliminate the federal department of education, and devolve its powers to the local school boards.
6. The Energy Debate: A Lot of Hot Air
Trump declares his disbelief in man made global warming. He supports the Keystone pipeline from the Alberta tar sands, and is for using America’s new found oil reserves (primarily coming from fracking) to drive economic growth.
7. Health Care Is Making Us All Sick
Trump would repeal Obamacare. He doesn’t give a lot of detail on what he’d replace it with, but does say that it would not be a single payer system (as advocated by Bernie Sanders), yet everyone would “get at least reasonable care”. He also explicitly states he would not cut Social Security or Medicare. Finally he intends to remove existing barriers to competition.
8. It’s Still the Economy, Stupid
This chapter is a little rambling. Trump talks about the danger of the massive 20 Trillion dollar debt, how much government waste could be cut to save money, and about bringing back jobs lost to other countries.
9. Nice Guys Can Finish First
Trump talks about how he’s been attacked over his policies. He reiterates that he is self funded. He gives his leadership philosophy: “A great leader needs to be flexible, holding his ground on … principles, but finding room for compromise that can bring people together”. He talks about the need for “more real achievements in the first 100 years of the next administration than … in … seven years of … Obama”.
10. Lucky to Be an American
Donald wraps himself in the flag, and commits to fixing the VA (veterans administration) and taking care of veterans.
11. The Right to Bear Arms
Trump is 100% for the second amendment, is an NRA (national rifle association) member, and has a permit to carry a concealed weapon in New York. He also talks about the need to get rid of gun free zones on military bases to allow the military to defend themselves against terrorists on base.
12. Our Infrastructure is Crumbling
Trump advocates spending on infrastructure, partly because its necessary to allow business to be done, and partly as direct economic stimulus via job creation.
Trump talks about happiness as his core value, explains the role of his religion in his life, rails against political correctness (“how in the world could be offended by someone saying ‘Merry Christmas'”), and states that he treats women “no differently than … men”.
14. A New Game in Town
This chapter is a little thin on details. It’s mainly restating the “make America great” message.
15. Teaching the Media Dollars and Sense
Trump rants against dishonesty and corruption in the media.
16. A Tax Code That Works
Trump lays out his tax policy. Simply stated, his plan is to reduce the tax rate while removing the loopholes used by the rich and special interests to avoid paying their fare share. It would increase the number of families who pay no taxes at all by 75 million. Estate tax would be eliminated, but deductions for charity and mortgage interest would not.
17. Making America Great Again
This chapter recaps the message.