cover image Nobody Hates Trump More than Trump: An Intervention

Nobody Hates Trump More than Trump: An Intervention

David Shields. Thought Catalog, $12.95 trade paper (270p) ISBN 978-1-945796-99-9

Shields brings a cynical outlook and collage style to psychoanalyzing President Donald Trump and American culture in this idiosyncratic cultural critique. He weaves together Trump’s words, Fox News sound bites, and his own experiences and wry observations in chapters loosely organized around concepts including Trump’s obsession with looks, Freudian symbols, the post-truth era, and the questionable motives Shields imputes to his fellow writers and professors in the resistance. Trump’s outrageous quotes—on everything from gun violence to the looks of Heidi Klum and Angelina Jolie—give rise to absurd chapter titles (“I Don’t Have a Gay Bone in My Body”) and spark now-familiar speculation about childhood “damage” (“Did he torture animals?”). In the chapter “28 Reasons Trump will be Re-Elected,” Shields makes the clichéd implication that liberal elitism (three New York Times theater critics “embody everything that drove five million Obama voters to Trump”) and “political correctness” (presented without explanation of its relationship to American politics: “An Australian sex educator suggests that parents ask their babies for consent before changing their diapers”) are to blame for Trump’s win. Fans of Shields will appreciate the way he reflects the Trump era’s cringeworthy absurdity; readers seeking a more sincere, compassionate, or analytical take will want to look elsewhere. (Oct.)