4 out of 4 stars
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Do We Have A Center is a non-fiction book that analyzes Donald Trump's victory in the 2016 US Presidential Election and explores his victory in the context of the US's political history. The book makes a case for centrist politics to resolve the increasing polarization of the political spectrum in the US in light of Donald Trump’s election. Based on his extensive research and his journal during the presidential campaign in 2016, Walter Frank provides his insights as to how to approach the upcoming 2020 Presidential Election.
The book contains four chapters. Chapter One talks about the events that happened during the presidential campaign in 2016, focusing on the two candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Chapter Two provides an analysis of the 2016 campaign using perspectives of political scientists, historians, and journalists. Chapter Three uses the analysis in Chapter Two to contextualize the polarization of politics in the US and to argue for the case of centrist politics, which is defined as “a willingness to consider all the possible ways to attack a problem without pre-conceived biases against one set of solutions because of their source.” Lastly, Chapter Four offers a great deal of advice to the Democrats on what must be done to prevent Trump from being re-elected in the 2020 Presidential Election.
I like how the book creates a captivating political story that manages to capture the essence of what happened back then. The author manages to organize a multitude of issues and perspectives during the campaign to provide a coherent narrative. Looking back, I don’t think I can try to make sense of what happened back then if it weren’t for the book.
The book also does a good job of providing the contextual background needed to analyze the state of American politics in the wake of Trump’s election. The author makes use of multiple sources from memoirs to statistics to argue for and against different analyses of the presidential campaign in 2016. While the book manages to be rigorous in its research, it can still be read leisurely.
My only issue with the book is the motivation for its writing, which is to prevent Trump from being re-elected in the 2020 Presidential Election. While the author does a good job of arguing against Trump being re-elected, his arguments may only appeal to the Democrat voters. It would have been nice to see his arguments appealing to Republican voters since this would fit well with his arguments for centrist politics. But still, I don’t think that this issue makes the arguments in the book invalid.
Overall, Do We Have A Center is a well-written book, complete with a captivating story and extensive research. I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars. While this book may appeal more to Democrats than Republicans, I can recommend this book to anyone interested in knowing more about the presidential campaign in 2016 regardless of his/her political beliefs.
]Addendum Added by Reviewer after Clarification from Author
It appears that there has been a misunderstanding regarding the author's motivations. The reviewer wishes to change the statement "...the motivation for [the book's] writing" to "...a motivation for [the book's] writing." This is to suggest that the "motivation" written in the review, as observed by the reviewer, is not the sole motivation of the author.
The reviewer also wishes to add the author's various motivations for the book:
"First, I wanted readers to understand that Trump was in fact the superior candidate in 2016 and did not win simply because of divisive rhetoric. Second, I wanted to make the case for the need for a return to civility and asked readers to view centrism and moderation as the best approach to politics. Third was my desire to indicate a centrist strategy that I believe is essential for the Democrats to succeed in 2020."
The reviewer hopes that this would clear any misunderstanding regarding the author's motivations.
Do We Have A Center?
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