RUNNING AGAINST THE DEVIL by Rick Wilson
Kirkus Star

RUNNING AGAINST THE DEVIL

A Plot To Save America From Trump—And Democrats From Themselves
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KIRKUS REVIEW

A wily Republican strategist rings in on the challenge facing Democrats in 2020.

Political campaign consultant Wilson (Everything Trump Touches Dies: A Republican Strategist Gets Real About the Worst President Ever, 2018), who airs his views in a variety of venues, intensifies his strident excoriation of Trump with a hard-hitting assessment of Democrats’ chances of winning the next presidential election—a victory that is crucial for saving the country. The author decries Trump as “a flawed, awful shitbird of the worst order” and a “political and moral monster” who will go down in history “for endemic corruption, outrageous stupidity, egregious cruelty, and inhumanity” and who has spread “moral and political contagion” and caused the collapse “of a once-great party.” Trump needs to go, but Wilson fears that Democrats will hand him reelection unless they focus on 15 states critical for an Electoral College win. “You’re not really running a national campaign,” he insists. “You’re running fifteen state campaigns.” After many chapters of “robust and richly deserved Trump-bashing,” the author turns to strategy, cautioning Democrats against focusing on policy. Instead, they need to attack Trump’s actions—e.g., a trade war that victimizes farmers, cruelty and brutality toward immigrant children, unrepentant racism—and personal failings to make their case to voters who can still be swayed: “the large and growing cohort of Republican women who broke away from the GOP, and the white, Democratic men who broke for Trump in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Florida.” These voters want a moderate; they are not youthful progressives, who, Wilson asserts, won’t win Democrats the states they need. The author suggests talking points about abortion, guns, immigration, tax cuts, judges, and socialism. He warns Democrats of the threat of a third party run and underscores the importance of “a real modern, data-driven campaign” and deployment of surrogates, such as the Obamas. He offers a state-by-state game plan, homing in on pertinent issues and recommending liberal spending on targeted ads. Democrats can win, Wilson maintains; but will they?

A caustically funny, outraged, and deadly serious analysis.

Pub Date: Jan. 14th, 2020
ISBN: 978-0-593-13758-1
Page count: 336pp
Publisher: Crown Forum
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15th, 2019