Why Filipinos should care about ‘Fire and Fury’
If you’re a Global Filipino, in Asia, the U.S., Canada, or the Middle East, or maybe a Filipino in the Philippines, here’s why you should care about that scathing fly-on-the-wall tell-all, Michael Wolff’s Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House.
If you needed any more proof that the U.S. isn’t what it used to be just read the book.
And maybe afterwards, you’ll consider your other immigration options.
When democracy’s modern guardians end up with a buffoonish leader like Trump at the helm, it only means one thing. It’s in trouble.
And all the rest of you around the world? You’re on your own. Have you tried Germany?
America is no longer acting like it’s responsible for anything but itself.
No longer even policeman of the world, or its moral watchdog. America these days is self-serving, inept and lacking a world view.
Just like its president.
Wolff’s book shows us that 2017 was no anomaly. There’s a reason Donald Trump and his administration struggled to achieve anything in its first year.
The Trumpster didn’t want the job in the first place. It’s all in the book.
The one unimpeachable fact that Wolff’s tale reveals is that Trump ran for glory, not for the good of the country, democracy or his love of the office of the presidency.
According to Wolff’s book:
“His ultimate goal, after all, had never been to win. ‘I can be the most famous man in the world,’ he had told his aide Sam Nunberg at the outset of the race. His longtime friend Roger Ailes, the former head of Fox News, liked to say that if you want a career in television, first run for president. Now Trump, encouraged by Ailes, was floating rumors about a Trump network. It was a great future. He would come out of this campaign, Trump assured Ailes, with a far more powerful brand and untold opportunities.
‘This is bigger than I ever dreamed of,’ he told Ailes a week before the election. ‘I don’t think about losing, because it isn’t losing. We’ve totally won.'”
But darn it. He won.
Wolff’s book confirms what we’ve long suspected. Fire and Fury shows Trump to be a man who doesn’t like the job he didn’t really want in the first place.
He’s the man who wouldn’t be president. But he has to be, thanks to the electoral college.
No wonder Trump wants to abolish it. Without it, he would have lost, just as the book says he planned on doing all along.
And now he’s the poor spoiled rich kid. Forced to drive the free world as its leader, but who would rather be its shiny orange-haired hood ornament.
This inside perspective by a veteran journalist who was allowed access to the White House is what makes it so difficult for Trump to rebut.
Wolff’s book isn’t fiction. It’s an act of journalism by someone’s who has been a journalist longer than Trump’s been a politician.
Wolff says he has more than 200 taped on-the record interviews. There may be other “not for attribution” quotes on background, but the anonymity enables candor and truth. This is journalistic practice. Until those quoted recant, the statements and opinions hold.
So far, former top aide Steve Bannon’s statement of regret days after publication doesn’t really count.
He can’t unburn the bridge when he described the president’s mental acuity by saying Trump’s “lost it.”
Nor can Bannon take back describing the president as a “big, warm- hearted monkey.”
In fact, compared to how other senior staffers who called Trump a “f—ing moron,” or “idiot,” Bannon’s “monkey” quote is one of the nicer things said about Trump, according to Wolff’s book.
But if I were a monkey, I’d be offended.
The derision among the staff is genuinely upsetting. The book reveals how senior staffers on the inside know they were not dealing with a “stable genius,” a phrase Trump proclaimed about himself this past weekend.
But all of them understood what Trump’s real desire was–to run for fun, get famous, and build the Trump corporate brand—not the United States.
When Trump won, everyone was shocked. Even Trump.
Wolff described election night when the trends were going Trump’s way: “Don Jr. told a friend that his father, or DJT, as he called him, looked as if he had seen a ghost. Melania, to whom Donald Trump had made his solemn guarantee, was in tears, and not of joy.”
And that’s the reveal this administration can’t keep covered up.
“Fire and Fury” exposes the Trump Administration as a total sham.
He’s president under false pretenses. Didn’t want it, doesn’t want to do it. He’d rather go to bed early to eat cheeseburgers in bed and watch cable TV on three screens (it’s in the book).
The real shame is that the reality TV star matched up well with a 2016 electorate that was equally cynical. Or maybe they weren’t smart enough to look through the façade that Wolff’s book deftly strips away.
And that, unfortunately, is the state of democracy today in America.
In the Philippines, the fear in politics and government is always corruption. In the U.S., a cynical electorate that can elect someone like Trump is far worse.
Emil Guillermo is an Inquirer.net columnist based in North America. Follow him at https://www.twitter.com/emilamok
Listen to his podcasts at https://directory.libsyn.com/shows/view/id/emilamokstakeout