My Copy of Crippled America…
At the outset I will say that Crippled America is not a book that will satisfy a policy wonk. It is reflective of Donald Trump’s campaign thus far. If you’ve listened to his speeches and seen what he’s written down so far, you won’t find anything radically new or different. There are no detailed 15-point plans that the media loves. What Crippled America does do, however, is put Trump’s positions into a comprehensive and easy to navigate handbook, which is one of its true purposes.
The other true purpose Donald Trump fashioned for Crippled America was to continue to establish presence among his supporters and increase their morale. It is not a detailed policy book. Rather, it is a call to rally around Trump’s banner – “Make America Great Again.” And it is emphatic that, to quote a slogan from the past, “yes we can” make America great again. Trump is thus casting his lot with ours, and taking double the risk. That is inspiring.
And now for some choice passages outlining this message…
The Winning Mindset:
The first chapter is appropriately titled “Winning Again.” Donald Trump strikes a chord because he has rightly said that America does not win anymore. It almost seems like our self-appointed political, corporate, and intellectual elites want to use America to destroy America. Donald Trump offers an antidote right at the beginning of Crippled America:
I’m not a diplomat who wants everybody else to be happy. I’m a practical businessman who has learned that when you believe in something, you never stop, you never quit, and if you get knocked down, you climb right back up and keep fighting until you win. That’s been my strategy all my life, and I’ve been very successful following it.
Winning matters. Being the best matters.
I’m going to keep fighting for our country until our country is great again. (pg. 6)
That is leadership. That is presence. That is power.
That is someone you want to follow. That is the very attitude we here at The Masculine Epic ourselves espouse and strive to keep.
Donald Trump begins Crippled America on that high note. It’s the basic theme of the entire book. Instead of the usual platitudes, feel-good language, and rehearsed diatribes that politicians, media propagandists, and corporate swindlers use, Donald Trump offers us adventure. Donald Trump offers us a struggle, a hardship that we can overcome and thus grow as people. In Crippled America, he is inviting us to make our country great again, and in doing so, become the best version of ourselves.
No one else currently running can compete with this.
Ignoring the Naysayers:
In Crippled America, Donald Trump also highlights a key component of personal success, and by extension, national success: ignoring the naysayers.
Donald Trump’s friend and successor on The Apprentice, Arnold Schwarzenegger, also said this in his famous “secrets to success” speech:
You will see many of these themes in Donald Trump’s campaign and in Crippled America. A few passages in particular were telling:
Of course, there were the doubters. Between journalists who sell newspapers by creating controversy, and established politicians eager to preserve the status quo that in turn preserves their jobs, there were many “experts” predicting my demise. They’ve been reading the “polls.” They’ve been listening to all the lobbyists and special interests saying “Trump is a threat to our well-being.” They’ve even been saying I hated women or hated Hispanics. Some of them even said – this is the cardinal sin in politics – I was willing to take on even the richest people in America with all their tax benefits.
I have proven everybody wrong.
Suddenly, those same newspapers and “experts” were only talking about my ideas. And even as I’ve had to respond to some of the toughest and dumbest questions from supposedly nonpartisan journalists, people continue to listen to me and support my ideas – and guess what? Women are flocking to my message because they’re just as tired as men are about how little is being accomplished in Washington.
Likewise, Hispanics are climbing on board because they’ve heard – from Hispanic employees who’ve actually worked for me and know me as a boss and leader – that Donald Trump builds businesses.
Donald Trump builds buildings.
Donald Trump develops magnificent golf courses.
Donald Trump makes investments that create jobs.
And Donald Trump creates jobs for legal immigrants and all Americans.
Even the most jaded journalists are realizing that Donald Trump is for real and that the people are responding to someone who is completely different from every other politician. (pg. 4-5)
Crippled America has much to say about the media and the naysayers, but Trump gives them another broadside towards the end:
“I hope Donald Trump, the pompous host of Celebrity Apprentice, runs for president,” wrote Washington Post columnist Michelle Singletary in April 2015. She continued: “Then we’ll get a certified look at his income, investments, and debts. But here’s a Trump-like prediction, which is like the various pronouncements made by the real estate developer that aren’t backed by any credible evidence: Trump will not run. He won’t officially declare his candidacy because the Ethics in Government Act requires those running for federal office to file disclosures of their personal finances.”
Kyle Smith, resident genius at Rupert Murdoch’s New York Post, also had it all figured out.
He wrote – “Big news coming from Donald Trump. Big, huge. I have the news before anyone else. Donald Trump is running for president…of the Donald Trump Love & Admiration Society. He’s sure to be elected in a landslide. Oh, that other thing? Nah. No chance. When Trump declared to the Republican Party of Iowa’s Lincoln Dinner that he is going to make an announcement in June ‘that’s going to surprise a lot of people,’ he wasn’t preparing to launch his long-awaited candidacy. He was simply doing what he always does: Promote the Donald. Generate headlines. Get people talking.”
The truly odious Jonah Goldberg of the National Review was his usual incompetent self when he wrote – “Arguing with Trump is sort of like dressing up an adorable toddler in a Viking outfit and listening to him say he will raid my village and slaughter all in his path. It’s cute. It’s funny. Maybe it’s even vaguely disturbing if he goes on too long…but just as with Trump’s rating, the one thing you don’t ever do is take it seriously.”
This is the sad and often pathetic state of our “objective” media today. The people who are supposed to be reporting the news have no concept of fairness, because they believe themselves to be the experts. They “know better” – they have the inside scoop.
They never get embarrassed, but they should be. They must think their readers are idiots who forget how often they get it wrong. After I declared that I was running, a lot of them still didn’t believe it. (pg. 143-144).
Crippled America continues on from there. The media “experts” are exposed as the hacks they are.
Point being, these people are just naysayers. They’re weak. They’re dishonest. They’re often miserable. If you want to be successful in life, why would you let these people weigh you down? Remember, avoid the unhappy and unlucky.
We’ve associated with these types for too long as a country. It’s time to stop.
As I said, when it comes to matters of policy, Crippled America is not a work that would satisfy a wonk. It mostly goes over ends, with some details of means, but not incredibly detailed ones. This is not a weakness for the book because, as it lays out, we’ve gotten those detailed plans that make policy wonks salivate for decades, but have in turn gotten nothing but chaos, misery, and poverty.
If these vaunted 15-point plans really matter, they haven’t been doing so great thus far.
But I did find this passage in the chapter about taxes interesting:
We must also finally reduce waste. Billions and billions of dollars are wasted annually, and nobody seems accountable. All politicians in every election cycle promise to reduce waste in spending. When was the last time you heard of government actually doing that? I’ll answer that: Never. In business you learn that small things very quickly become large savings. When you’re spending your own money, you learn how to eliminate waste. The next president has to stop throwing money away. Save a few billion here, a few billion there, and before you know it, you’ve made a real dent in spending.
This waste isn’t difficult to find. In 2013, Business Insider’s Walter Hickley went through the reports of each government agency’s Inspector General and pretty easily identified $15 billion in quick savings, ranging from the $42 million given to a college by the Department of Education – that was ineligible to receive any federal funds, to the $2.7 billion that the Department of Health and Human Services could save just by reexamining the price that Medicaid and Medicare should pay for wholesale prescription drugs.
In 2015, the Citizens Against Government Waste issued its Prime Cuts report, showing how $648 billion could be cut from the budget from the 2016 budget without causing harm. $9.6 billion could be saved by ending the Rural Utilities Service program that makes loans and grants to utilities in underserved parts of the country – in one rural Arkansas town the government spent $5,500 per resident of your tax dollars to provide for broadband access. It also points out the cost of a lack of supervision of different programs, noting that there are 6.5 million active social security accounts issued to people that are supposedly 112 years or older – although there were only 35 known people of that age. And a lot of people have estimated that there is more than $100 billion in waste in the Medicare program. (pg. 157-158)
Regretfully, Crippled America does not here talk about the true elephant in the room – the trillions of dollars in overseas spending, but perhaps Donald Trump thinks that by making countries under the US protective umbrella pay us their fair share for their defense (mentioned in the foreign policy chapter), this shortfall will be made up.
Nonetheless, we can also save money by…I don’t know, stopping the funding of al-Qaeda in Syria.
The Bottom Line:
Crippled America is a book that likely will not sway any new voters for Trump, nor will it sway anyone away from him who is already there. What you’ve seen on the campaign trail is what you’ll get in the book.
What’s useful about Crippled America is that it is an easy guidebook to all things Trump 2016, and it is an immense boost of morale to those who support him and want to see their country win again. If you’re fed up, tired with the same old politics, or if you simply want to be the best version of yourself, this book will help you along in that journey. By associating with Donald Trump, you will be associating with a winner. That’s why it goes beyond politics. The best passage in the book was this:
Making America Great Again means never taking another step backward. Yes, we’ll take inspiration from the heroism of our past, but we’re only going to charge ahead now. When I played sports growing up, there was a saying in the locker room: If you take the first step backward, you might as well just keep going.
To put it another way: If you can accept losing, then you’ve already lost. (pg. 138)
This is the cornerstone of masculine wisdom, and it’s always been found in the great men of the ages. You’ve seen it relayed on The Masculine Epic before. It’s been a long time since someone with this attitude was leading our country. Crippled America is a rallying cry to bring that wisdom back to the halls of power.
It’s time to win again – for yourself and your country. Crippled America calls on its readers to do so, and that’s the best part about it. It isn’t a long book, but its compactness is a great strength, and you may often find yourself coming back to it for its wisdom even beyond politics.
Happy Thanksgiving to my readers, wherever they are. And let’s make America great again!