Taking One for the Team: Crippled America- How to Make America Great Again by Donald Trump

Crippled_America_-_How_to_Make_America_Great_AgainNow do you really think I could take one for the team without reviewing a book by the GOP’s presidential nominee Donald Trump? Of course not. Initially, I thought of reviewing Trump’s classic The Art of the Deal. But decided to check out Crippled America: How to Make Great Again because this idea of making America great again is Trump’s campaign slogan, and according to the bloviating Cheeto, only he is capable of making the good old US of A great again.

And boy, in Crippled America Trump never fails to remind you of this…

Now I’m not exactly naïve. I know damn well Donald did not write this book; he can barely handle writing a decent Tweet. Most likely he hired a ghost writer to write Crippled America basing this tome on Trump’s speeches, interviews, and yes, his Tweets.  Well, I can say one thing good thing about Trump; he’s keeping ghost writers in business. They can use the paycheck.

Okay, onto the book…

After a preface called “You Gotta Believe”, Crippled America is divided into 17 short chapters focusing on several key issues: 1) Winning Again 2) Our “Unbiased” Political Media (the quotes are in the text of the book) 3) Immigration: Good Walls Make Good Neighbors 4) Foreign Policy: Fighting for Peace 5) Education: A Failing Grade 6) The Energy Debate: A Lot of Hot Air 7) Healthcare is Making Us All Sick 8) It’s Still the Economy, Stupid 9) Nice Guys Can Finish First 10) Lucky to Be an American 11) The Right to Bear Arms 12) Our Infrastructure is Crumbling 13) Values 14) A New Game in Town 15) Teaching the Media Dollars and Sense 16) A Tax Code That Works 17) Making America Great Again

Now I have to give The Donald some credit. He is quite right on certain things that need attending to here is the good old USA, including our schools, our healthcare system, our infrastructure, our economy and our treatment of our returning veterans. However, these are mere talking points and he never gives us solid, key evidence of how he can solve this other than using the Trump Brand.

You might ask yourself, “Okay, Donald. Just what is crippling America?” And unless you’ve been taking a very long nap, what’s crippling America are the very things Donald has been spewing about ever since he threw his hat into the political ring last year. And pretty much what he says are the same things political pundits spew about on everything from FOX News to AM radio to various Sarah Palin’s word salads vented via her social media. They include:

President Obama, Hillary Clinton, most Democrats and other assorted liberals, Congress, Muslims, immigrants, unions, the media, public schools, science and scientists concerned with climate change, and big government (well, any form of government actually)

Not surprising President Obama isn’t Trump’s favorite person. After all, Trump was a total birther who doubted the validity of the President’s birth here in the United States even after Obama presented his long-form birth certificate. He pretty much hates Obama, blaming him for everything from our relations to foreign countries to our healthcare woes to our piss poor public schools.

Other conservative talking points Trump pukes up within the confines of Crippled America is the threat of China’s booming economy and American companies outsourcing jobs to China (like Apple) without taking responsibility for outsourcing many Trump-related products to China. He just says they are good practices for him because they help him save money.

His take on energy is pretty much the same as Sarah Palin’s, “drill baby, drill,” while dismissing various green technologies like solar panels and wind turbines. He is also a denier of climate change and doesn’t seem to give a rip about anything environmentally-sound.

His only solution when it comes to our troubled healthcare system is to completely repeal and dismantle the Affordable Care Act while not offering any valid concepts and ideas on how we can offer good healthcare options that serve the public’s best interests.

At blame for our educational systems is mostly teachers and teacher unions. He blames government interference for our troubled economy, and doesn’t even brooch the issues of Wall Street greed, big business malfeasance and stagnant wages hindering the average American’s spending power. He talks about religious freedom but only how it affects good Christians like himself. As for Muslims? Well, you don’t have to read Crippled America to know how feels about Muslims. And his take on immigration is pretty much “Mexicans suck. Close the borders.” He is a huge fan of the second amendment and brags about having guns and doesn’t even want to discuss the most benign arguments for gun control.

Now how would Trump solve these problems that cripple our Nation? Well, he doesn’t exactly offer any salient policy, thoughtful ideas and solid evidence other than the various buildings and golf courses he has built around the world as if that is the same thing as running the United States. Though he does offer some ideas on making our tax code simpler, you’ve probably heard or read of these ideas elsewhere. Trump hardly breaks new ground.

Trump’s ego is all over Crippled America. He brags about his business acumen, never bringing up the failures of Trump University, Trump Airlines, Trump Vodka and other Trump-related beverages, Trump magazine, Trump’s line at Macy’s, various casinos and not to mention, his bankruptcies. He also brags of his family values, which is rather rich coming from a man on his third marriage and a known adulterer.

Crippled America is pretty much one big brag fest for Trump. As I mentioned offers no policies, ideas, evidence and careful research on how he would truly act if he was President. Furthermore, Crippled America is devoid of any endnotes or footnotes pointing out solid proof of what plagues America and why these issues plague America. If I handed in an essay in college written is such a flimsy manner I would have received a much deserved grade F.

You know, if Trump wasn’t running for the most important job in the world, I would just laugh over this book. But Trump is running for president and this chills me to my tailbone. The President of United States is not the same as being at the helm of a cheesy reality show. It is a job that requires wisdom, an open-mind to differences in race, gender, sexual identity, ethnicity, religious affiliation and differing ideas and opinions, diplomacy and empathy, the ability to see several sides to an issue, the aptitude to handle a crisis, excellent communication skills (especially listening), and other skills Donald just doesn’t seem to have or is willing to develop. Oh, being the President also requires a full understanding of the Constitution and its amendments, the Bill of Rights and how the three branches of government work. Wait, does Trump even know we have three branches of government?

When you think about, running for President is a job interview, the most important job interview I can imagine. Do you think you’d get a job if you spent your entire interview saying horrible things about women, Muslims, immigrants, your competition, or made fun of a disabled person?

I didn’t think so.

Trump sums up Crippled America, not with his tax returns, but with his so-called personal financials, and offers an “about the author” page that goes on for 17 pages. Yes, 17 pages. Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount wasn’t 17 pages long.

In the end I can sum up Crippled America in 17 words: I survived reading Donald Trump’s Crippled America: How to Make America Great Again. No liquor was involved.

Book Marks

MarkRuffaloJust when I thought my favorite actor, Mark Ruffalo, couldn’t get any more perfect, he suggests a book. Swoon!!!!!!!Thud!!!!!!!!!

Remember my review for Why Business People Speak Like Idiots? Local all-around bigoted asshole and so-called grocery store “consultant,” David J. Livingston is proof that this book is 100% spot-on!

As someone who has dealt with mental health issues since I was a little girl, I’d like to thank Poet Shira Erlichman for taking the mystery and shame out of mental illness.

Dear Corporate-Owned Media ™ stop focusing on Donald Trump and please start focusing on Senator Bernie Sanders. #whatliberalmedia?

Historical fiction writer, E.L. Doctorow, dead at 84.

Why Business People Speak Like Idiots: A Bullfighter’s Guide by Brian Fugere, Chelsea Hardaway and Jon Warshawsky

Why Biz PeopleNot too long a headhunter sent me this job ad. I’m paraphrasing and shortening a bit of it so your brain doesn’t explode (and to protect the not so innocent). My comments and translation of the ad copy are in italics.

Job Title: On-line Newsletter Operations Professional (On-line Newsletter Writer)

Principal Accountabilities (Principal accountabilities? Oh, I think you mean job tasks or position’s duties)

• Manages the daily activities necessary to produce the monthly and quarterly newsletters with a focus on the execution of the on-line newsletters (Write and edit monthly and quarterly on-line newsletters)

• Coordinates creation of each newsletter between internal content creators and an external partner (Work on newsletters with both internal and external parties)

• Manages external partner’s efforts to send each newsletter on-time (Make deadlines)

• Acts as primary resource for discussion on the capabilities of the newsletters (Collaborate with staff on how to produce effective newsletters)

• Assists with continuous testing efforts to improve the results of the newsletter program (Monitor newsletter results and create improvements if necessary)

Okay, my comments and translation took just a couple of minutes to write. It really wasn’t that difficult. Sure, my copy isn’t as “fancy” as the original but it does get to the point, right?

Well, getting to the point doesn’t seem to very common in business writing and speaking these days. If you’re a citizen of cubicle land you’ve probably also noticed this when reading internal or external business communications. And if you think reading and listening today’s business communication is a pain try writing it. I have and it’s one of the quickest ways to gaslight yourself.

I’m not only the one who is frustrated by the current state of business communications. Brian Fugere, Chelsea Hardaway and Jon Warshawsky are also frustrated and they tell you why in their informative, smart and very funny book Why Business People Speak Like Idiots: A Bullfighter’s Guide.

Fugere, Hardaway and Warshawsky have spent plenty of time in the trenches writing professional copy so they know bad business communications when they see and hear it. They break business communications down into four key sections:

1. The Obscurity Trap
2. The Anonymity Trap
3. The Hard-Sell Trap
4. The Tedium Trap

You’re probably familiar with the obscurity trap. This is when businesses use pretentious phrasing and cryptic wording, much like the job ad earlier in my review. Business often use the obscurity trap because they believe it makes them come across as important and impressive but it is ultimately meaningless and confusing. Sadly, those proposing this type of writing come across as insufferable twits.

Sometimes businesses are afraid to show personality or a unique voice. This is the anonymity trap. Businesses use customized templates or try to fit into a boring standards because they think that’s what they should do instead of trying something different and making themselves stand out from the crowd. This writing makes it difficult for the reader to distinguish one company from another.

Most of us hate the hard-sell businesses often practice. Sure, we love to buy, but we don’t appreciate being sold to. The hard-sell trap is when businesses use their communications to bludgeon you into buying something just to make some money rather than asking you about your needs, your wants and your opinion on their services and/or products. The hard-sell trap is about seeing clients as dollar signs not individuals. This makes us feel used, not appreciated and understood.

Lastly, we come to the tedium trap. This is when businesses use tiresome and boring communication styles that are completely devoid of a compelling story or an innovative panache and nearly puts us to sleep. You’ve probably come across this during a meeting featuring dull Power Point presentations and even duller speeches. In other words, let’s top using boring clip art and when giving a speech have a little fun. Fun is good!

Why Business People Speak Like Idiots not only examines these traps it also offers suggestions on how to avoid them using clear language, real-life examples, and lots of wit. This book not only offers great ideas on how to avoid banal corporate speak in written communications but also in visuals, slogans, speeches, presentations and meetings. Yes, business communications can be enjoyable and at the same time inform, educate and persuade.

And as an added bonus, I really liked the glossary of terms that should be banished from business speak like “action item,” “best practice,” “deliverable,” “client-focused” and “value-added.” Client-focused and value-added? Well, that should go without saying.

Now, I know I’m not the only one who picked up this book and claimed, “Yes, I’m not going nuts. Business people do speak like idiots!” However, I also fear this book might only resonate with the already converted. How do we get the non-converted to step away from the dark side other than force them to read their business communications “A Clockwork Orange” style? Well, I don’t have the answer to that but I do think Why Business People Speak Like Idiots is an important book that will hopefully enter the consciousness of everyone in corporate America.

Why Business People Speak Like Idiots. Read it. Learn it. Know it. Live it…before it’s too late.