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One Nation After Trump: A Guide for the Perplexed, the Disillusioned, the Desperate, and the Not-Yet Deported Hardcover – September 19, 2017
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“If you’re still baffled by how Donald Trump got to live in the White House, or you want to make sure that no one like him ever lives there again―or both―One Nation After Trump is your must-read book for 2017.” ―The Guardian
“If someone had hibernated through the 2016 election, woke up early this year and logged onto Twitter or turned on cable news and wondered, what the hell happened?, this would be the book to read. ... [An] important book.” ―The New York Times Book Review
“[A] good-spirited and thoroughly readable exercise in envisioning a better America.” ―The Washington Post
"A trio of acclaimed political scholars and journalists ... offer a unified voice of sanity in a world gone mad. ... A breath of hope but also a serious call to action: everyone needs to take part." ―Kirkus Reviews
About the Author
E.J. Dionne, Jr., is a columnist for The Washington Post, Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution, and professor at Georgetown University. Thomas E. Mann is a resident scholar at the Institute of Governmental Studies at the University of California, Berkeley and a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution. Norman J. Ornstein is Resident Scholar the American Enterprise Institute and a contributing editor and columnist for National Journal and The Atlantic. They are the authors of recent New York Times bestsellers, Dionne’s Why the Right Went Wrong and Mann and Ornstein’s It’s Even Worse Than It Looks.
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The main thrust of this second section, which will be to the relief of some and chagrin of others, is that to really move forward and enact a hopeful vision of America, all of America's citizens must exercise a healthy dose of empathy for those they disagree with. Those who voted for the current president and those who didn't, must snap out of the vitriolic spell they are under and try to comprehend why people they can't understand are acting in ways they can't currently fathom. Just because you disagree with someone's position on a certain topic, doesn't mean you can't take time to understand why they hold that position. It doesn't mean you have to agree with them, just that you really take time to consider their worldview and why they feel the way they do.
The plan laid out is sweeping in scope and touches just about every part of society, utilizing concepts and approaches that range from conservative to moderate to liberal - encompassing both nationalist and globalist outlooks, private sector and government funded initiatives - all together to form one overarching approach that would benefit the entire U.S. population.
The opening and closing of the book both highlight the traditional motto of the United States - E Pluribus Unum (Out of many, one) to laser focus on what is (or should be) the most important aspect of American society. Diversity is our strength, not our weakness. This refers NOT just to ethnic diversity but also economic, idealistic, regional and cultural diversity of all types - working together to support one another. Our society, despite the clarion call issuing forth from certain manic sectors of society, is NOT a zero-sum game. In fact, when all parts of society are working towards the same goal(s) it can quickly become a win-win scenario, which is exactly what the authors lay out in detail here. Instead of picking one way of approaching a problem, being open to multiple, interlocking and complementary approaches usually leads to the best outcome for all parties.
There is a long tradition in the U.S. and worldwide throughout history of would-be leaders and politicians who exploit human tendencies towards fear, isolation, protectionism, and prejudice to extract quick and dirty political gain, as well as control once in a position of power. This is always in detriment to the society being manipulated, but sadly, usually a very effective means to manipulate a society or electorate without needing to resort to the hard work of actually implementing (or even thinking about) actual programs or proposals that would, say, lift wages, improve infrastructure, reduce unemployment, raise birth rates and/or lower mortality rates, create jobs or even instill goodwill towards our fellow man. It's easier to scare people than it is to inspire them.
One Nation After Trump refuses to be cowed by the current political atmosphere and instead urges not just those who are unhappy with our current president but also (more importantly) those who ARE happy with him to turn away from divisive thoughts and behaviors in order to embrace the ideals the United States of America was founded on.
"Out of many, one."
"We, the people... in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity."
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."
"We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature."
Or in the (literally) immortal words of Jesus: "Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing." 1 Peter 3:9
Instead of just dismissing someone who voted for "the other" candidate, engage them. Stop talking and start listening. Refuse to be goaded into picking one side and hating those on the other side. Break the shackles of dogmatic ideology and think beyond the borders offered to you by leaders of any party. It's only when we, as a society, appeal to the "better angels of our nature" that the magic really happens. The U.S.A. has been through some very ugly, divided and bitter times in the past and we have always emerged stronger and better, more connected and not less, aiming higher instead of lower, thinking bigger instead of smaller. We will prevail together, or not prevail at all.
Two of many things they propose: a GI Bill for American Workers, echoing the program from the past, and a Contract for American Social Responsibility, a way to create incentives for corporations to think about long term goals rather than just short-term profits. As I read it, I could see the Democratic Party adopting some of these ideas that would appeal to a broad swath of the American population.
Definitely worth a read!
Don't expect a clean slate for either party or of the ordinary Americans who failed.
This is an honest book and a much needed one.