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Ciboski: What 'A Warning' Says About Trump And The American People

On September 5, 2018, the New York Times took an unusual step in publishing an essay anonymously by a senior Trump administration official. The writer provided insights into White House chaos and President Donald Trump’s impulsive behavior. This official has now published a book, also anonymously, with the title, A Warning.

Every American should read this publication before the 2020 election. It challenges us all to look at how we evaluate candidates for the presidency. The work also illuminates what the consequences may be in re-electing a man many people think is unfit for the role of Commander-in-Chief.

The author says Trump has never learned to manage the government’s day-to-day operations, and he has never shown any interest in doing so. He does not know how the executive branch works. There is daily confusion between departments and agencies, and a constant question of who is in charge.

The author says Trump is not a curious person, and he barely reads. Trump’s former economic advisor, Gary Cohn, said the president will not read anything, even one-page memos or brief policy papers.

Despite this, Trump has claimed to be an expert on issues about which his advisors have found he knows very little. On the courts, he says he knows more than any human being on Earth. On ISIS, he says he knows more than the generals do. On the U.S government, he says nobody knows the system better than he does. And yet, the author of A Warning says they have seen the president fall flat when trying to speak intelligently about most of these topics. The author says behind closed doors his top officials call him an idiot with the understanding of a fifth grader.

We can see what this says about Trump, but what does it say about the American people who would elect him to remain in office?

Dr. Ken Ciboski is an associate professor emeritus of political science at Wichita State University.