Nonprofit, nonpartisan journalism. Supported by readers.

Donate
Topics

In ‘Un-American,’ a scholar powerfully describes ‘the fake patriotism of Donald J. Trump’

For most of his life, John J. Pitney Jr., a professor of political science at Claremont McKenna College, identified as a Republican. The takeover of his party by Trump seems to have shaken that attachment.

For most of his life, John J. Pitney Jr., a professor of political science at Claremont McKenna College in California, identified as a Republican but, one assumes, as an American first. Or so he says in the preface to his new just-out-last-week book: “Un-American: The Fake Patriotism of Donald J. Trump.”

The takeover of his party by Trump seems to have shaken that attachment. So far, I’ve only been able to read the beginning of  “Un-American,” which is available online, so I’ll provide a link to that. But it was powerful and persuasive (or should be to anyone not totally inebriated on the sauce that Trump is, so far somewhat successfully, selling — although, as you may recall, Trump won his current job with assistance from our nation’s leading foreign adversary and without getting a majority nor even a plurality of the popular vote).

I can’t say that Pitney has unearthed new evidence of Trump’s cheating in the election, nor of the unfitness for his job that Trump has demonstrated and continues to demonstrate daily. So maybe I’m attaching too much import to his scholarly expertise or his former partisan loyalty. But I thought the chapter was powerfully convincing to anyone not completely besotted on the Trump joy juice.

I assume there are many Republicans who would say yes, there are troubling aspects of Trump’s character and rhetoric and even some of his policies but what-about what-about what-about.

Article continues after advertisement

Go ahead. Stick with him. But don’t pretend it isn’t well established that your guy is a liar, a braggart, a sexual predator, a tax cheat, and, as Pitney clearly demonstrates in so many ways, far more interested in his own wealth, power and fame than in making America great. Several parts of the book are readable at the link below by clicking on “Look inside.” Choose “First Pages” and read just a one-chapter overview of facts that are not in dispute and are laid out by a scholar and a lifelong Republican.

And if you feel so moved, explain to me in the comment thread what Pitney got wrong.

This link will get you Chapter One and more of “Un-American: The Fake Patriotism of Donald Trump.”