Bob Woodward has long been one of my journalist heroes. When he and Carl Bernstein wrote about the Watergate Scandal for The Washington Post they made history and won the Pulitzer Prize. After reading reviews for his new book, Fear: Trump in the White House, I knew it was a must read.
The presidency of Donald J. Trump, a “businessman” who vowed to “drain the swamp” that was Washington, DC has been unlike any administration before. Woodward compiled information from a variety sources inside the turbulent White House.
From the first quote in the book, Woodward captures the soul of Trump’s method of governing, fear. “Real power is – I don’t even want to use the word – fear.” He said this directly to the author and journalist Bob Costa on March 31, 2016, when he was one of the candidates for the office he now holds. Interestingly enough, Trump declined to be interviewed for the book. However, Woodward was able to speak with “firsthand participants and witnesses” to the events he recounts.
The picture of the president Woodward presents is the portrait of a man who entered the Oval Office totally unprepared for the job of leading a world power. His temperament, which is volatile, is guided by his mood at the moment. Thin skinned, Trump is a prevaricator of the highest degree. Regularly contradicting himself, surrounding himself with yes-men and women who seem to fear his wrath, he drives the United States on a roller coaster ride of disasters.
Trump’s admiration for dictators like Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korea’s Kim Jong-un while he insults world leaders from Germany, Great Britain, Canada, and France. This behavior alone raises questions about Trump’s ability to negotiate with America’s allies when he often alienates them.
Under his “guidance” the United States has withdrawn from the Paris Agreement, a global agreement signed by leading nations to strengthen “the global response to the threat of climate change.” Denying the research and observations of prominent world scientists, Trump defies the reality of global warming.
Consistently throwing the United States into turmoil, his relations with the Senate and House of Representatives rely on his Twitter responses to anyone who disagrees with him. Trump regularly attacks the free press who point out the inconsistencies in his remarks, his often irrational behavior, and his continued encouragement of divisiveness of America at large. Playing to his base, promising unrealistic and dangerous changes, Trump instills a false sense of entitlement to his followers.
Woodward, using interviews and public knowledge, pulls back the curtain on an unstable leader who has engaged in possible criminal activity, yet remains at the helm of the land of the free. The question arises, how long can the United States of America stand by while a failed businessman and television reality performer drives the country to the edge of disaster?
Fear: Trump in the White House is an eye-opener that I recommend for all readers, whether Republican, Democrat, Liberal, or Conservative. Read with an open mind then ask yourself, what can we do to steer America back to the course of being a conscientious and responsible world leader?