THE SAFETY OF THE STATE by Madelynn  Gingold


America v. Trump/Putin
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This debut book uses the Declaration of Independence, relevant quotations, and satiric verse to argue the case against Donald Trump’s legitimacy as president.

In this work, artist Gingold brings together 16 short pieces that, with scorn, anger, and wit, call for impeaching Trump. Her opening salvo is four quotations: the first three, from presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt, George Washington, and Abraham Lincoln, argue the legitimacy of striking out against an enemy when you have the facts, and the fourth—from former CBS Chairman Les Moonves—is calculated to raise readers’ outrage. Moonves said of Trump’s campaign: “It may not be good for America, but it’s damn good for CBS.” The volume’s quotations could use fact-checking and proper attribution; Lincoln’s, for example, appears to be apocryphal, and Trump did not say that Republicans are “the dumbest voters in the country.” Several pieces use rhyming verse, sometimes in the manner of Lewis Carroll or Edward Lear, to comment sarcastically on American election politics, Trump’s ties to Russia and President Vladimir Putin, and the mainstream media’s seeming collusion with Republican goals. The meat of the book, though, is its presentation of text from the Declaration of Independence, interpolated with charges specific to Trump. The author’s point is that, if one set of truths arguing for revolution is self-evident, other truths could make the same case for the same purpose. Unlike the Declaration’s solemn air of objective logic, however, Gingold’s language is inflammatory, even name-calling. Her use of bold capital letters to distinguish the original from added text unfortunately gives this section the appearance of a Facebook rant: “A PRINCE WHOSE CHARACTER IS THUS MARKED BY EVERY ACT WHICH MAY DEFINE A TYRANT, immorality, bigotry, mendacity, trickery, ignorance, piggishness, lawlessness, bellicosity, and greed, IS UNFIT.” While a later section, “ALL ABOUT IMPEACHMENT,” gives further foundation to her argument through quotes from the Constitution and examples of how the process worked in the past, the author doesn’t account for opposing viewpoints or the realpolitik of why even some Democrats are holding off on impeachment.

An impassioned political screed that’s unlikely to speak to those not already convinced.

Pub Date: Sept. 14th, 2018
ISBN: 978-0-692-19241-2
Page count: 49pp
Publisher: Self
Program: Kirkus Indie
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