Un-Trumping America Book Summary - Un-Trumping America Book explained in key points
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Un-Trumping America summary

Dan Pfeiffer

A Plan to Make America a Democracy Again

3.9 (93 ratings)
25 mins
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    Un-Trumping America
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    Trump may be unique, but Trumpism is a bigger, more dangerous threat.

    Back in 2016 – before the critical US election, before Trump’s inauguration, before the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, before the Muslim travel ban, ...oh, you get the idea – the author Dan Pfeiffer found himself at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.

    He wasn’t there for fun, you understand. A mainstay of the Democratic party for some 20 years who worked closely with Barack Obama, Pfeiffer was there as a CNN analyst. As a Trump supporter took to the stage, Pfeiffer leaned over to a friendly Republican in the Never Trump camp. He must be looking forward to after November, Pfeiffer said sympathetically, when Trump had lost and all his crazy followers had left the Republican party.

    The Never Trumper responded, “Are you kidding me?” These people, the Republican believed, were here to stay.

    As Pfeiffer soon realized, he was right.

    The key message here is: Trump may be unique, but Trumpism is a bigger, more dangerous threat.

    Now, you may well be wondering if “Trumpism” is really a coherent set of values. True, “the Donald” is hardly a philosopher – rather, he seems to have a remarkable and terrifying absence of any particular beliefs at all.

    But there are some key strands that add up to something like a list of political principles… if you can call them that. For instance: lie. Promote racial divides. Hate on the press. Use propaganda. Win at all costs.

    Trump, as it happens, is particularly good at these things. And in doing them, he’s simply tapped into the very worst instincts of a lot of other people in the Republican party.

    You could even say that he’s settled a long-running Republican party debate. The last decade of Republican politics has been defined by a civil war. On the one side were wealthy establishment figures keen on Reagan and the Bushes, and on the other were those who hated Obama, listened to commentators like Rush Limbaugh, and generally wanted to disrupt business as usual – despite having very little practical experience in politics. These people used to be called the Tea Party, and are now the Freedom Caucus.

    Though it’s strange to use these words, Trump has healed this divide. He has kept the focus on race and the anti-establishment energy of the Tea Party, while making policies – like his tax agenda – that establishment figures love. The result is something with such broad appeal among Republicans that it’s bound to continue long after Trump has gone.

    Which means that Democrats need to up their game.

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    What is Un-Trumping America about?

    Un-Trumping America (2020) is former Obama advisor Dan Pfeiffer’s playbook for beating Donald Trump and fixing the broken system of American democracy. Filled with practical campaigning and policy suggestions, it’s an ambitious guide to a brighter future.

    Best quote from Un-Trumping America

    In this union lies the core of Trumpism – billionaire-funded racial grievance politics.

    —Dan Pfeiffer
    example alt text

    Who should read Un-Trumping America?

    • Democrats eager for a plan to beat Trump
    • Policymakers and those interested in getting involved in politics
    • Citizens concerned with the direction the USA is headed in

    About the Author

    Dan Pfeiffer was White House director of communications in 2009–13, and senior advisor to Barack Obama in 2013–15. He has since written the New York Times best seller Yes We (Still) Can, and also cohosts the podcast Pod Save America.

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