The Iowa Caucuses are less than 60 days away, and much to the chagrin of some, Donald Trump has maintained a comfortable lead on his competitors. Despite throwing ample handfuls of mud at President Obama, Hillary Clinton, several media personalities, Mexican-Americans, Muslim-Americans, Macy's, CNN, and the New York Times, the train that is Donald Trump's presidential campaign keeps chugging along, with no feasible derailment in sight. Visitors to Trump's official Twitter account are treated to daily reminders that his media critics are losing money, suggesting that fact hurts their credibility or worse, makes them so jealous of Trump's riches that every report becomes a "hatchet job."
But in between tweets taking pot shots at the political competition and news outlets, Trump also devotes time to plugging his latest book, Crippled America. While the average American might be most familiar with Donald Trump for the reality TV shows The Apprentice and The Celebrity Apprentice, he is also a bestselling author. Trump first foray into publishing came with 1987's The Art of the Deal. Since then, Donald Trump's books have mostly related to business and teaching people how to make money. That changed with 2011's Time to Get Tough: Making America #1 Again.
The blurb for Crippled America, which was published by Threshold Editions, the conservative publishing arm of CBS, reads like a campaign speech. In fact, it's touted as Donald Trump's plans to fix up everything from America's health care system to its military and foreign policy. All issues that Donald Trump has been hammered on skipping over during his campaign speeches. According to the Huffington Post, Crippled America also contains a listing of properties that Donald Trump owns or developed, and a 14 page "About the Author" section. Donald Trump may not have experience in health care, the military, or politics, but he has ample experience at selling himself, and Crippled America proves that.
The hardcover version of Crippled America is the No. 1 bestseller on Amazon in the United States National Government, Public Affairs & Policy, and Conservatism and Liberalism categories. The Kindle and audio editions of Cripple America are in the top 10. By contrast, Dr. Ben Carson's book, A More Perfect Union ranks No. 4, but none of the other editions rank in the top 20.
According to CNN, Donald Trump also devotes precious page real estate to bashing his media critics. Interestingly, Trump also explains that his patented shoot-from-the-hip and hyperbole friendly style is all part of his gimmick. Trump describes his controversial outspokenness as carefully crafted to court media attention.
"...sometimes I make outrageous comments and give them what they want -- viewers and readers -- in order to make a point," Trump writes. "I'm a businessman with a brand to sell. When was the last time you saw a sign hanging outside a pizzeria claiming 'The fourth best pizza in the world'?!"
So Donald Trump would have American voters believe that he is a nice guy with conservative ideas, who only says mean things to draw attention to his good ideas. Just how good are his ideas? That depends on your political ideologies.
According to Market Watch, Donald Trump advocates dismantling the Department of Education and returning the responsibility of testing and education policy to the states. He also advocated letting schools compete for students. Donald Trump favors a simplified tax code, with 10 percent, 20 percent, and 25 percent tax brackets. President Trump would eliminate virtually all tax deductions, except charitable giving and mortgage interest. Under President Trump, the Affordable Care Act and most movement on renewable energy would cease to exist. The are a few policies that might please liberals. Donald Trump would leave Social Security intact, though he would ask wealthy Americans to voluntarily give up payments if they don't need them.
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