Writing with raw irreverence, impetuosity and in an irascible vein, Matt Taibbi combines shades of Gonzo journalism popularized by the famous Hunter J. Thompson with his own in your face style of trenchant reporting to chart the unimaginable and meteoric rise of the eccentric Donald Trump, first to the pinnacle of the Republican Nomination and consequently, to the highest office in the United States of America. The whole world watched with stupefaction, when what initially was termed a comical exercise in obscene showboating by a garrulous business magnate soon metamorphosed into a virtual apocalypse when in November 2016, the Democratic candidate and once-taken-for-granted-victor, Hillary Clinton conceded defeat thereby catapulting a loud mouthed, orangutan haired, sickeningly coiffed, impudent buffoon into the White House!
Taibbi, as a reporter for the Rolling Stones covered the entire spectacle that was the 2016 elections and watched with stunning disbelief the fortunes of the contenders which swayed more violently than even the most unruly and unpredictable pendulum. The dispatches of Taibbi arranged in this book in chronological order detailing primarily the shenanigans of the Republican GOP reads more like the immature and internecine clashes between a family of deranged gibbons than the calculated machinations of a party responsible for preserving and enhancing the economic and social fabric of a country.
When Trump anointed himself a Republican contender, the venom of vulgarity that spewed from his mouth that did more justice to a misfiring cannon than an erudite teleprompter, almost put paid to his political hopes. His nauseating comments about Megyn Kelly having “blood coming out of her wherever”, denouncing Mexicans as “rapists”, before finally getting stuck into 2008 nominee John McCain for “having been captured in the war”, not only left the business magnate’s reputation in tatters but also demonstrated an extraordinarily puerile IQ which could be tested and bested by a smart sixth grader! Not to mention anything about the eggs that were smeared over the collective faces of a blabbering, confused and shell shocked Republican Party.
But as Taibbi demonstrates with wit and wonderment, what swung the voters in favour of arguably the most imbecile head of a nation the world has and will ever see, was an even higher degree of stupidity that adorned the other Republican nominees. Contenders to Trump such as the gentile, wallowing-in-campign-funds Jeb Bush, the nonsense spouting fountain of crass talk, Ben Carson, the clueless and completely overwhelmed Ted Cruz, whom Taibbi professes to possess a “odd neckless monitor lizard posture” and a score of other dithering non-performers made Trump the inglorious Svengali of all that he saw.
The disconnect which the Democrats unwittingly and condescendingly allowed to develop between themselves and a bunch of disgruntled voters ensured that “the Donald” garnered support despite a litany of “Trumpian” blunders ( a classic example being when his clown of a spokesperson Katrina Pierson said Barack Obama’s policies “probably” caused the death of a soldier killed in Iraq—in 2004! When confronted about her mistake, she said, “That’s why I used ‘probably.’ ”) and in spite of a “Trumped” up arrogance. Taibbi also packs it in for the creed of journalists who instead of standing up against the antics of a half insane reckless individual, molly-cuddled him and elevated him to an unbecoming status of a media star thereby shamelessly and selfishly enhancing their own channel ratings to stratospheric levels. As Taibbi puts it, albeit in a shockingly disgusting manner, “actually, guessing that Trump’s campaign had a chance at success and shoving your tongue a foot and a half up the Trumpian orifice are two completely different journalistic acts.”
With “Insane Clown President…..” Matt Taibbi has produced a classic jeremiad of lost hopes, blunted common sense and most of all a tactful and devious exploitation of a disenchanted mass by a demented politician and his equally deranged coterie of loose cannons and self-professed racists. The world watches in disbelief as a band of white supremacists take over the economic, cultural and social machinery of the world’s oldest and richest democracy.
Hope the effort does not come unhinged!