NOBODY HATES TRUMP MORE THAN TRUMP: AN INTERVENTION is perhaps the only genuinely original thing you have read yet about Donald Trump. It can be read in a variety of ways: as a psychological investigation of Trump, as a philosophical meditation on the relationship between language and power, as a satirical compilation of the “collected wit and wisdom of Donald Trump,” and above all as a dagger into the rhetoric of American political discourse—a dissection of the politesse that gave rise to and sustains Trump. The book’s central thesis is that we have met the enemy and he is us. Who else but David Shields would make such an argument, let alone pull it off with such intelligence, brio, and wit, not to mention leaked off-air transcripts from Fox News?
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 clich d 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.