I dedicate this book to the DEPLORABLES.
While the elite of the other party look down on you and would rather you stay silent, I salute your work ethic, patriotism, and values. America wouldn’t be great without your blood, sweat, and tears. I will always stand with you! I am proudly one of you.
by Donald Trump Jr.
1. TRIGGER WARNING
I’M NOT MAD.
Look, everybody is called a traitor once or twice in their lives, right? Everybody gets falsely accused and wrongly investigated by the FBI and has to testify in front of Congress for over thirty hours, answering the same stupid politically motivated questions over and over again, don’t they? And, everybody has an army of social justice warriors combing through every word they’ve ever said online to find something to be offended by, correct?
Why should I be mad? I’m not mad. In fact, my plan was to write a feel-good book about forgiveness and healing, sort of a Chicken Soup for the Political Soul type of story. I was even going to call it Kumbaya instead of Triggered, but it seemed that title was already taken, probably by one of the 2,467 Democrat candidates currently running for president.
So instead of chicken soup, over the next 300 pages or so, I’ll take you on a tour of all the craziest, most destructive ideas that the left has come up with in the last decade or more. Think of it as a trip through Jurassic Park, only instead of dangerous dinosaurs, you get to see sleepy liberal losers, socialist crybabies, and hypocritical politicians and media. If you decide to come along, I promise that nothing will jump into the car with us.
You’ll also get to find out a little about me during the ride, if only as a way to dispel the conspiracy theory on the left that I was born with horns.
Before we get going, however, I need to make a few disclaimers. If you’ve been around lawyers as much as I have lately, you begin to think like them.
First: I am not operating in my official capacity as a spokesman for my father’s campaign in these pages. So if I were to say something like, oh, I don’t know, “Adam Schiff is a lying ass clown” or “Robert Mueller is a feeble old fool who got used by the Democrats”—you know, if I were to hypothetically say those things—that’s all just my opinion. No one on the campaign has been consulted, and I doubt any of them would care very much anyhow. I’m just saying what they all know to be true but don’t want to take the heat for saying in public. I guess that’s just one of those things that got passed down in the genes!
Second: As much as I might joke around, I am not actively trying to offend anyone with what I’m about to say. I’m just making arguments, backing them up with facts, and putting them out into the world, the same way millions of people have done with millions of books before mine. I would actually like to think of this book as offering a reasoned antidote to all the hysterical bullshit that’s flying around right now. That used to be called discourse. But today, “discourse” exists only for leftists. When conservatives do it, they call it “hate speech.” I also know that as the son of a rich white guy living in 2019, I’m essentially not allowed to have an opinion anymore, let alone express that opinion in public.
Finally, I guess I should probably include a note about the title of my book, because it’s probably not a term you hear every day. In fact, if you’re over the age of about thirty-five or you haven’t spent the last few years on a college campus, on Twitter, or in an asylum (and really, who can tell the difference anymore?), you probably have no idea why this book is called Triggered.
Allow me to explain.
Today, as it appears on the internet at least, the term “trigger warning” is used to describe something, say a tweet from my dad, that blows up the fragile sensibilities of the liberal Twitterverse. At the very least, it sets their hair on fire and creates a minor news story for a few days. But at the worst, it moves them to real-life outrage and organized violence. And before you ask, the freaking out is wildly disproportionate. While conservatives usually get worked up over important things—such as the killing of babies or the stripping away of our natural rights as human beings—with liberals the “triggers” tend to be much sillier. If you say capitalism is better than socialism, they freak out. If my father says America is the greatest country in the world, they lose it. If you tell them the cat video they posted isn’t that cute, they have a complete breakdown.
With every passing day, the bar for what’s considered “triggering” gets lower and lower. For example, have you ever asked someone where they’re from? Well, according to liberals, you can’t do that anymore. It’s called a microagression. (Don’t worry, I’ll explain these terms as we go).
And when Robert Mueller says the president of the United States is not an agent of Russia—which, call me crazy, seems as though it should be good news for everyone—they melt down and console each other like they did when they found out Al Franken was a creepy pervert.
So, because my book will contain sections with a number of these so-called dangerous ideas, I thought it best to include a little warning of my own. Though it isn’t illegal—yet—to discuss triggering ideas like this in a book, who knows where we’ll be by the time this goes to print. I could be brought up on charges just for having an opinion or a picture of myself on the cover.
YOUR TRIGGER WARNING
Do not continue reading this book if you don’t like conservative ideas or if the thought of reading bad words scares you. Do not continue reading if you don’t have a sense of humor or are American but somehow, magically, Donald Trump is not your president. Also, if you find any of the following even remotely offensive: patriotism, masculinity, hunting, MAGA hats, the American flag, guns, sex, religion, Roseanne Barr, criticism of stupid ideas, capitalism, skyscrapers, or the use of the word “Christmas” during the Christmas season, then you should definitely stop reading.
In fact, if you’re a dyed-in-the-wool liberal or a social justice warrior, why don’t you go ahead and put this book down altogether. Just close the cover, march right back to your local bookstore, and hand it back over the counter. Better yet, buy it and throw it away. Put it in the recycling bin if that makes you feel better. Maybe your favorite vegan restaurant can make menus out of it. Either way, you’ll be engaging in capitalism, which is a good thing, whether you like it or not.
Are they gone?
Good. I thought I’d have to break out my MAGA hat.
Now that it’s just you and me, my fellow patriots, Trump-supporting Americans, and those from the whisper campaign who actually like our president but are afraid to tell people, I think we can finally get down to the heart of this book.
Things have gotten way out of control in this country. We’ve elected socialists to our Congress, allowed anti-Semitism to run rampant throughout our government, and allowed our most important media institutions to be run by angry mobs and leftist activist “journalists” on Twitter. Worst of all, we have completely ceded control of what we can and cannot say in public to the left, who are just a bunch of oversensitive babies who find everything offensive. If a liberal declares that something is racist, it is. If a liberal says he or she is offended by something, that thing, no matter what it is, is suddenly unspeakable. My father says a place is infested with rats, the mob cries racism. My father says he likes taco bowls from Trump Tower, the left cries racism. Since my father announced his run for the presidency, screaming racism has become the Easy button of left-wing politics, just like in those old Staples commercials. It’s the liberal “trump card,” if you will.
Facts aren’t working for you?
Math is hard?
IT’S RACIST! Obviously.
The problem with using racism as a label for everything you don’t like, of course, is that racism is still a real problem that persists in this country—not nearly to the extent that the left would have you believe, of course, but it’s still one of our major issues. Real people face real racism every day. And when you use it as a buzzword to try to win a losing argument, it does a disservice to those who live under it. People have become numb. When they hear “racist,” they roll their eyes because that term has been so overplayed on such a vast scale, always hurting the real victims along the way.
The left has also gone crazy with its newfound powers of censorship. Things have gotten so bad that the list of what we are no longer allowed to discuss in this country has gotten longer than the Mueller Report. There are stacks of books we’re no longer allowed to read, public figures who are no longer allowed to speak in public, and crucial debates we are no longer allowed to have—all because they might hurt someone’s feelings. Even what passed for rather amazing comedy just a few years ago is now considered offensive and regressive by the left. Just ask Dave Chapelle, who’s fighting off an online outrage mob as I type these words over a comedy special he just released. So many people have been “canceled” by the left for minor offenses against “wokeness” (I’ll explain these terms as we go) that I can hardly keep track anymore. What’s next? Book burning?
So before they light the bonfire, I decided to write a book that includes just about every subject that the left believes we shouldn’t talk about. I’ve also decided to call it Triggered, because, well, why not? Anything that makes the veins in a few liberal foreheads bulge out is fine by me.
Okay, now that you’ve had the appetizer, let’s get to the red meat.
I DON’T KNOW if you’ve heard, but the Mueller Report is out. Turns out I’m not a Russian agent after all! After spending almost $40 million in taxpayer money, employing nineteen of the most prejudiced Democrat lawyers they could find in Washington, DC (some of whom had worked for the Clinton family and others who had been at her “victory party”), magically without a single Republican, and taking nearly two years to do an investigation that anyone with half a brain could have done in five minutes, the Mueller team found absolutely zero evidence of collusion or obstruction.
Now, most people would have been willing to leave it at that. Most people would have been relieved to have their name cleared in public after so many years of having it dragged through the mud. And if I were “most people,” this chapter might be a little different. Maybe it would open on the afternoon the Mueller Report came out. There’d be some vivid writing about how relieved I felt, how I could breathe easily for the first time in years. Or maybe there’d be scenes from right in the middle of the whole ordeal, and I’d tell you about how I’d curled up in a corner every night with a teddy bear praying that I wasn’t going to go to prison over this made-up nonsense. I might include some tear-filled speeches from my friends and family about how they were going to stick with me till the end, how they brought me strength in troubled times.
If that’s what you’re expecting, you’d better go buy a different book.
I’m not “relieved” to have the Mueller investigation over with. I don’t feel as though a weight has been lifted off my shoulders, and I’m not breathing any easier than I was on the day that old, over-the-hill puppet was first appointed. I’m not relieved because I know that it was never about Russia or collusion or obstruction. It certainly wasn’t about “the integrity of our elections” or “national security.” If the Mueller investigation had been about any of those things, the Democrats would have been celebrating along with everyone else when we learned that the President of the United States had not colluded with a foreign power. But they didn’t celebrate. They waved the report in the air like a bunch of lunatics and claimed that You have to read between the lines, man! It’s all in there! They had officially joined the ranks of the tinfoil hat brigade who think the moon landing was staged in a television studio or who think we’re keeping aliens in Area 51 (if you really want to see aliens, the first place I’d look would be in Nancy Pelosi’s office).
From the day the Mueller investigation began, it was about one thing and one thing only: taking down my father, the only president in the history of this country who was elected without the approval of the ruling class. He was a populist candidate who spoke for real Americans, and that meant he had to go. The investigation was, and always had been, a complete farce. It was started by people who hate Donald Trump more than they love America.
But for some reason, we were all expected to stay quiet and let the Mueller team carry out their crooked investigation in peace. While the Democrats were telling outright lies about us on the floor of Congress during the day, then moving their clown show over to cable news and doing the same thing every night, we were supposed to just nod along and not say a word. Sorry, not the way I operate. Throughout the entire investigation, I kept up the heat on television and on Twitter, calling out all of the lies Adam #FullofSchiff was telling about me—which, by the end of the whole thing, got to be like a full-time job—and taking shots right back at the Democrats who were trying to remove my father from office.
You might be shocked to hear, but not everyone was pleased with my combative stance. One afternoon, right in the heat of the Russia hoax, even my lawyers approached me and said, “Don, you might want to slow down on social media, maybe not be so aggressive.” I politely declined. Shortly after that, my father—yes, my father, Donald J. Trump, our tweeter-in-chief, the so-called Shakespeare of 140 characters—told me that I might be getting “a little too hot” on my social media accounts.
I respect the heck out of my dad, and when he gives me advice I take it ninety-nine point nine percent of the time. This, however, was probably the one time I decided not to listen! He knew as well as I did that there’s no such thing as being “too hot” on social, at least as far as I’m concerned. I consider myself a shit-talker par excellence.
Plus, I knew that when it came down to it, all the morons in the House and the Senate—these clowns like Eric Swalwell and Ted Lieu who were attacking me every day—would throw me in jail themselves if they had the power to do it. They didn’t give a damn about investigations or getting to the truth. They just wanted to get my father out of office and punish anyone who supported him—starting with me and my family.
So, no, I didn’t think it was the time to “slow down” or “take it easy.” I still don’t.… and I won’t.
Throughout the entire Russia investigation, it seemed, the Democrats in Congress had only one reason to exist, and that was to try and make my father and me cower in a corner, curl up in a ball, and die. Well, that had about as much chance of happening as them finding proof of collusion. My lawyers could’ve talked to me until they were blue in the face, which they pretty much did, but my attitude wasn’t going to change. Not one bit. Because I fight back. That’s what we do.
I wasn’t surprised when those same lawyers came back to me at the end of the investigation, when the report was out and everyone was beginning to learn the truth, and told me I had probably been right all along to hit the Democrats so hard. I don’t blame them for being skeptical, though. None of them were actually there when this supposed collusion took place.
Like the rest of my family, I worked on the Trump campaign. I know what it was like in the early days before the primaries, when the whole world was against us and we were struggling just to compete in a crowded Republican field. As I’ve often said, we couldn’t have colluded to order a cheeseburger, much less coordinated an espionage campaign with a foreign power.
Especially in the beginning, the Trump campaign was filled with political neophytes, and I mean that in the best sense of the word. Almost all of us came from walks of life other than politics, meaning we were used to actually working for a living. All of us were accomplished, just not in the political arena. While the other campaigns were wasting time with polling data and staff shake-ups, we were figuring out ways to streamline the process and reach as many voters as possible. No one had time to reach out to foreign governments and ask for help. I mean, look, candidly? I got one unsolicited email. The Clinton campaign sought out and paid for foreign operatives to do research on its opponents. That’s a big distinction.
If you were a liberal in early 2017, the Russia collusion story was really all you had left to cling to. It absolved you and your candidate of all blame for her defeat, and it gave you a perfectly sensible reason to reject the results of the election. All of a sudden, once Big Bad Russia got involved, Donald Trump became an “illegitimate president,” and the whole getting-elected thing was just a colossal misunderstanding. It was the do-over they all wanted so desperately. Not only did Democrats get to carry on as if their candidate hadn’t lost, they also had free rein to take down just about everyone who had ever associated with Donald J. Trump, from his close associates and friends to the people who share his last name. Ask me how I know!
I mean, I’m old enough to remember when Barack Obama made fun of Mitt Romney by telling him “the 1980s called and want their foreign policy back.” But now, miraculously, Russia could be brought back from obscurity to be the villain in the Democrats’ assault on democracy. They always get to have it both ways.
Thank God we’re on the other side of the Russia hoax now. The reports have been written, the testimony—days and days and days of it—has been given, and we know the truth. There was no collusion. No obstruction. Not so much as an unpaid parking ticket as far as my father and his closest aides from the campaign are concerned. And finally, the liberal media have given up on the story.
They’ve kept up the delusion, assuring their disillusioned followers that more evidence is coming, more interviews are being unsealed, and there are more investigations to be done. No matter how many times Robert Mueller tells them to shut up and read the report—which, as my father has correctly said, exonerates him completely—they keep bringing up the man’s name as though he’s some kind of conquering hero, even dragging him in front of Congress so he could stutter and babble his way through five hours of testimony. Hell, I’m still waiting for all the evidence that Adam #FullofSchiff claims he’s been privy to over these past two years. It seemed as though he was on television every night, claiming he had “seen evidence” of collusion.
I have to admit that I almost felt bad for Robert Mueller during that testimony. And if it weren’t for the fact that I was probably number two on the guy’s kill list for years, I might have. I’m not against old people; I’ve always respected my elders. But watching those Democrats in Congress go at him, question after question, all of them trying desperately to make him tell them about the smoking gun they all wanted so badly, was like watching a bunch of kids find out Santa Claus isn’t real. For years, they had been living in their filter bubbles and echo chambers, able to spread lies about the Mueller Report without anyone throwing any facts into the mix. They had staked their entire reputations on the allegations being true and gone all in. They’d chosen—or rather, they’d used—Mueller because they’d thought he was beyond reproach, someone whom no one—not even my father—would dare attack. After all, he was a former prosecutor, the former head of the FBI, a decorated Marine. But it all came tumbling down when we realized he was nothing more than a pawn for the leftists running the show—an empty suit to fit their narrative and nothing more. Worst of all for Democrats, in their hysteria to destroy Trump, they forced the man they had elevated for two years to appear before Congress and he proved what he and the MAGA-sphere had known all along: that he was the author of his report in name only. Asked about key figures in the report and dates that anyone who’d even been following the story on Twitter would have known, Mueller came up short again and again. Oh, he said, I don’t know, I need to check that, I don’t know who that is… That’s beyond my purview. Seriously Mr. M? Well, it was right there here, so it really isn’t. You wrote the report and you can’t tell me what’s in it? You didn’t know anything about Fusion GPS, the opposition research firm hired by the DNC to dig up dirt on my father? You didn’t know that they were the genesis of the entire investigation and all of the FISA warrants? Sorry, I don’t buy it. You spent two years and nearly $40 million and you didn’t bother to learn how it all started? The genesis of the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people is “beyond your purview”? G.T.F.O.
Tell you what: if you see me on the street, feel free to ask me questions about this book you’re reading right now. I might not be a fancy former head of the FBI or anything, but at least I can remember things I’ve written myself.
In their desperate attempt to get him to testify beyond the report, the Dems actually did more to discredit the whole farce than anything before. And for that, I say: thanks!
But if you think a little thing like the debacle of Mueller’s appearance before Congress is going to stop the Democrats, think again. They are obsessed. They’ll believe anything that confirms what they already believe, and they’ll call anything that contradicts what they already believe a lie.
If you’re trying to find the starting point of this lunacy, look no further than the night of the 2016 election, right around the hours of midnight to six o’clock in the morning, when the craziest wing of the American left finally lost its mind for good. DJT has been living rent-free in their heads ever since—a strong real estate play from the best in the game.
It was in those few hours, right after the networks finally called the presidential election, that the liberal press and the Clinton camp first started groping around for anything that would explain their loss. For them, my father’s victory was the worst possible thing that could have happened. The postmortem that immediately followed the election read as if the world had come to an end. “The world’s shining light of democracy has gone dark,” one journalist said. Paul Krugman, a columnist for the New York Times, wrote that markets were plunging, and that they would probably never recover (How’d that work out?). A few weeks later, Jeff Zucker, the president of CNN—who, by the way, has my father to thank for his job—blamed himself, saying that the network probably shouldn’t have aired so many of DJT’s campaign rallies. Yeah, right, Jeff. You could have filled the airspace with New Year’s Eve with Anderson Cooper reruns, and my dad still would have won. I guess these days CNN is paying reparations by choosing to be the anti-Trump network at all costs—especially in the ratings. All the experts proved what we’ve all known all along. That they are full of shit. They all got it so wrong they needed cover and when they saw something, no matter how asinine, it became gospel to cover their abject failure.
Still, the left wouldn’t feel sorry for itself for long.
First it picked up the Russian spy story and started pushing it to every devastated reporter who would listen.
Then it did everything it had told us the Trump supporters would do if Hillary won. Think about it. For weeks leading up to the election, we had been hearing about all the horrible things Donald Trump would force his supporters to do if he lost. DJT wouldn’t accept the defeat they were all so sure was coming. The editorial boards at the New York Times and the Washington Post both ran many articles warning us about the chaos that was about to ensue. According to popular opinion, Trump supporters were going to riot in the streets, refuse to accept the results of the election, and begin some kind of underground coup against the duly elected president, Hillary Clinton. They would start a second civil war. The streets would become absolute anarchy.
And when things didn’t go the way the Democrats had wanted them to go, what happened?
Let’s see. They held riots in the streets. (Check.) They refused to accept the results of the election, cooking up one of the strangest spy-movie stories I’ve ever heard in order to maintain their collective delusion. (Check.) Then they formed an underground group of online keyboard warriors called “the Resistance,” dedicated to taking down my father one stupid hashtag at a time. Prominent journalists, liberal activists, and actors have all identified themselves as proud members of “the Resistance” on Twitter. When I’m attacked by an outraged mob online, their voices are usually among the loudest. (And Check.)
The hatred that fomented online and in protests became hand-to-hand combat—and I mean real violence, the kind you usually see only in Third World countries. I’m not kidding. The same party that used to preach peace, tolerance, and inclusivity (mostly platitudes when you look at its history, which I will) has now become the party of hate, violence, and suppression of free speech.
So-called activists on the extreme left have moved from their safe spaces and the basements of their parents’ houses out into the streets, usually clad in black hockey pads and carrying weapons. Sometimes they call themselves antifascists, or Antifa, but most of the time, they don’t know why they’re there or what they even believe. All they know is hate and anger. Time and again, these people try to shut down speakers with whom they don’t agree. They attack journalists in the streets and threaten anyone who doesn’t go along with their twisted sense of social justice and equality.
They’re not exactly the most physically imposing people in the world (that’s what happens when you live on nothing but soy lattes and veggie burgers), but the sheer force of their numbers is shocking. They have allowed hate to spread at a rate we haven’t seen since the era of civil rights, when Democrats—the party that founded the KKK, in case you’ve forgotten—would organize lynch mobs and counterprotests all across the South, most of which ended in horrific violence.
These people are irrational, hysterical, upset, and out looking for enemies.
I should know. As of November 16, 2016, I became one of their top targets. Before the election, I was just a guy who appeared on television every once in a while, went to work, and went home at the end of the day and played with my kids. There were probably a few people who thought I was an asshole because I was blessed to have been born into a wealthy family. But no one was mailing suspicious powder to my home or screaming at me in a restaurant where I was celebrating my brother’s birthday. No one was threatening my life. After the election, I became the guy who receives the second highest number of death threats in the country (according to the Secret Service, second only to my father). And that’s a list that includes senators, former presidents, and ambassadors to several war-torn countries. Here’s what the exploding letter filled with powder that sent my then wife and a member of my Secret Service detail to the hospital said: “You are an awful person. This is why people hate you. You are getting what you deserve. So shut the f—k up.”
Keep in mind that I hadn’t done anything to that person, who, by the way, turned out to be a liberal activist and an Elizabeth Warren donor. I’ve never had an actual physical confrontation with any of those lunatics in my life. All I do is give speeches, have opinions, run a business, and support the president of the United States, who also happens to be my father. For that, I get the second highest number of death threats in the country.
It gets worse. Much worse.
In June 2017, a left-wing activist, armed with a rifle and a 9 mm handgun, walked up to a practice for the annual Congressional Baseball Game and started shooting at Republicans. Sometime before, he’d tweeted: “It’s Time to Destroy Trump & Co.” My friend Republican Whip Steve Scalise was so badly injured he almost died. Matt Mikaf, a lobbyist and former legislative assistant, was critically wounded and underwent surgery. Another legislative aide, Zack Barth, was shot in the calf. Two Capitol Police officers, David Bailey and Crystal Griner, were injured just before they took down the shooter.
These days, anyone who supports my father is a target. Just as the anti-Trump revolution was beginning, Senator Rand Paul, one of my father’s closest allies on Capitol Hill, was brutally attacked by his neighbor, an avowed lefty. The man ran down a steep hill to gain momentum and then blindsided Senator Paul, who had headphones on and his back turned. He never knew the man was coming. The senator had six broken ribs and blood in his lungs. Doctors who examined him said that the injuries sustained were more consistent with a car accident than a sucker punch. As he was recovering, the left celebrated. The celebration continues among some of the most callous and idiotic people on the left. Just a few months ago, the comedian Tom Arnold tweeted: “Imagine being Rand Paul’s neighbor and having to deal with @RandPaul lying cowardly circular whiny bullcrap about lawn clippings. No wonder he ripped his toupee off.” Within seconds, Representative Ilhan Omar had retweeted it, obviously gleeful that the attack had taken place. Nice, right? And they say Donald Trump is the one who’s vulgar, but they won’t say anything about Omar allegedly marrying her brother to enter the country illegally. Or, having an affair with a married paid staffer, or as someone hilariously commented on my Instagram feed, “She puts the infidel in infidelity.” Whether it’s true or not, she’s not exactly the moral authority the media makes her out to be.
The left has become nothing more than a hypocritical caricature of itself—a Saturday Night Live clip gone horribly wrong.
And it’s not just politicians who are targets. It’s anyone the left doesn’t agree with. As I was working on this book, my brother Eric walked into a bar in Chicago and a waitress there spat in his face. The Secret Service had to lead her outside before the confrontation could get worse. People get triggered simply by seeing a Trump. Last year Sarah Huckabee Sanders, my father’s longtime press secretary, and her family were kicked out of a restaurant in Washington, DC, simply because she worked for the president. Her family was forced to leave another restaurant by an Antifa mob just minutes afterward. Democratic Socialists of America threatened former Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen, White House adviser Stephen Miller, and Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell in restaurants. Senator McConnell has been targeted multiple times, including by left-wing extremists who stormed his home screaming “Just stab the m—f—in the heart.” Then, when the senator posted a video of the incident, Twitter locked him out. They locked him out for showing an attack on his house directed by the left!
Even the vice president has been harassed. Instead of taking a curtain call, the entire cast of the musical Hamilton stood on stage and lectured Mike Pence, then the vice president–elect. Vice President Pence was at the show with his daughter and her cousins, who were upset at the public display of hostility.
As gracious as anyone you’ll ever meet, the vice president excused the rudeness of the cast by telling his daughter, “That’s what democracy sounds like.” Everyone is entitled to his or her opinion, even if the left doesn’t think we are. There are, however, appropriate times and places to express them. I don’t know, but the cast of a show shouting at a man and his family who are sitting in a theater where tickets for the show cost hundreds of dollars doesn’t seem like one of those times to me. If anything it shows most of America how uncivilized and deranged most of these lefties are. (By the way, though I use the terms “lefty, leftist, and left” interchangeably with “Democrat” in these pages, not all Democrats are leftists. Many are good people, some even voted for my father. Unfortunately, the party has lost its way and is now run by the leftists and the socialists.)
Last year, with a few friends, we were celebrating my girlfriend, Kimberly Guilfoyle’s, birthday at a restaurant when a man came up to our table and started screaming “Shame on you!” Our friend Sergio Gor, who was with us at the table, asked the man to name one policy of President Trump’s that he wasn’t happy with. Instead of giving an answer, the man continued his irrational rant but now targeted Sergio.
“Is it the environment?” Sergio asked.
More incoherent screaming.
“Taxes?” Sergio pressed.
“I don’t have to name one!” the man finally screamed and walked away.
It was a classic display of Trump Derangement Syndrome. He didn’t know why he was mad; he just knew he was mad.
The attacks against us aren’t random incidents. They’re part of a coordinated plot to intimidate anyone into silence who doesn’t agree with the radical left. Antifa is nothing less than a terrorist organization, and it’s about time we started treating it that way.
Its members are certainly radical enough. In their own minds, they are part of a long line of brave, tightly organized “antifascists.” They see themselves as being descended from those who took on the supporters of Benito Mussolini in Italy and opposed Adolf Hitler in Germany during World War II. In reality, they’re just idiots who’ve played too many video games. They are people who have never gotten the chance to confront anything real in their lives, so they turn the real world into a fantasy land where they are good people fighting evil fascists. Oh, and in this little fantasy world, anyone who says things they don’t agree with—or anyone who is white and male and happens to be within fifty feet of them when they hold their demonstrations—is a fascist.
I’m not sure if Antifa understands fascism all that well, because it sure as hell seems to be willing to employ fascist tactics on a daily basis. Maybe they should just call themselves “Fa,” because from what I’ve seen they’re far more fascist than anti-.
In April 2017, an Antifa mob wearing ninja black, ski masks, and sun goggles and carrying knives, clubs, and cans of Mace descended on the peaceful Patriots’ Day “free speech” rally in Berkeley, California. Of all places—the home of the ’60s hippies’ crusade for free speech. One of the Antifa thugs began hitting people in the head with a large bicycle U-lock. He sneaked up on them and hit them from behind—the worst kind of coward. As many as eleven people fell from the blows. One man was so badly injured that he needed multiple staples in his skull to close the wound.
The police would later arrest Eric Clanton for the crimes. By day, Clanton was an “ethics” professor at Diablo Valley College. By night, he was a leftist thug in the war against Trump. (Irony is lost on the left.) The ethics professor would receive just three years’ probation. If the sentence seems a little soft to you, you’re not crazy. Three years’ probation for what amounted to attempted murder? Perhaps the scales of justice were tipped in his favor? Well, the court was in California’s Alameda County, a place that had gone nearly 80 percent for Clinton. So you tell me.
At the end of June 2019, an Antifa mob attacked Andy Ngo, an editor for Quillette, on the streets of Portland, Oregon. Over the past few years, Andy had been doing some excellent reporting about a vast series of fake hate crimes that had been staged by various “oppressed people” in Oregon and elsewhere. His reporting, some of which had run in the New York Post, had exposed several people who had “Smolletted themselves,” as I like to say, painting racial slurs and obscene images on their own houses and then blaming Trump supporters for it. In one case, a woman who had fallen while drunk blamed her injuries on a white supremacist. Andy’s reporting had made him an enemy of Portland’s liberal gestapo, whose entire narrative hinged on those horrible attacks being true.
When they found out about Andy’s reporting, the leftist communities of Portland reacted violently, as they often do when you point out their blatant hypocrisy. On June 29, Andy tried to film a protest going on in downtown Portland, and the Antifa crowd turned on him. They allegedly dumped milkshakes on his head, punched him in the face, and beat him all over his body with whatever weapons they’d left the house with that day. Later, in the hospital’s emergency room, doctors told Andy that he had suffered brain injuries from the attack. The attack is being challenged, of course, but only by left-wing rags that likely only want to hurt Ngo because he doesn’t fit their desired mold.
If those had been isolated incidents, it’d be one thing. But they’re not. All over the country, leftists are organizing marches, shutting down speakers, and committing horrible acts of violence when they don’t get their way. And instead of calling out these atrocious acts for what they are, the media either ignore them or cheer them on. The New York Times referred to the widespread protests after my father’s election—many of which had turned violent—as “peaceful.” When Trump supporters gather anywhere, organizing in the same numbers for similar reasons, we’re called “white supremacists” and “hateful fearmongers.” This isn’t because we’re evil or even because we’ve upset the established political order. It’s because we say things that the left doesn’t like to hear—and in the era of Trump, there is no greater crime than to trigger someone.
In recent years, the left has come together and decided that words are violence, which, in the minds of its members, makes it perfectly acceptable to use violence against people with whom they disagree.
They have decided that there are some things you just shouldn’t say anymore, and when you say one of those things, you become the enemy.
But words aren’t violence. They’re just words.
3. CRACKS IN THE FOUNDATION
I WAS ONLY FOUR or five years out of college when I undertook my first major project as a VP at The Trump Organization. I had already learned a great deal about the business on a few smaller projects in New York City, but this was much different. Ninety-eight stories high, the Trump International Hotel & Tower now stands on the banks of the Chicago River. Luckily, I was alongside some of the most talented men and women in the business. We worked day and night on the project for close to five years. Because of the team’s commitment to the company, we brought the whole thing in on time and under budget.
By the time we had our soft opening in 2008, I was almost thirty years old and fifty times more experienced than I’d been at the start. The lessons I learned on that job stay with me to this day. Maybe the most fundamental lesson was this:
You need a strong foundation.
Hidden from view, foundations transfer the weight of the entire building to the earth. As any good architect knows, a few centimeters of misalignment in the concrete subfloor can cause the structure to tilt or sink. If you don’t believe me, look at the Millennium Tower in San Francisco. Finished in 2009, the fifty-eight-story tower has sunk seventeen inches and tilted a foot. Today, they call it the “leaning tower of San Francisco,” and estimates are that it’ll take more than $100 million to fix—not the best news for people who bought condos in the building, which have depreciated in value $400,000 on average. Like most things in life, tall buildings need a solid foundation. Without one, as they say in the trade, you’re screwed.
I’m reminded of faulty foundations when I look at the modern Democrat Party. It built a political party on a foundation of Jim Crow–style racism, support of the KKK and slavery, and stark opposition to Abraham Lincoln. Every few decades it added a floor to that foundation. Those floors included a widespread welfare state, hindrance of businesses both big and small, and finally political correctness, Soviet-style socialism, and Antifa. They are the party of dependence. Without that, they have nothing.
It’s a miracle that the party is still standing.
It’s not as if it hasn’t had several opportunities over the years to tear down and rebuild. After my father crushed Hillary in 2016, exposing an obvious flaw in the Democrats’ way of looking at the world, they could have regrouped and figured out a way to become less radical.
But they didn’t.
Instead of becoming more sensible after the 2016 presidential election, they shifted even further to the left, bringing the craziest fringe figures to the forefront of the party. In recent years, the Democrats have almost completely abandoned the principles of capitalism and democracy. Instead, they’ve begun embracing some of the worst ideas in the history of mankind: socialism, collectivism, class warfare, and the politics of fear and resentment. Some of their most recent proposals sound as though they came right out of The Communist Manifesto. They saw the 2016 election results, and they did exactly the opposite of what most reasonable people would have done.
Did you ever think you would live in a country where the president of the United States would have to stand up during his State of the Union address and declare that we “would never become a socialist country”? But here we are.
For my maternal grandmother, who lives with us for a few months every year, that line came as an incredible relief. For her, it was personal. She and my grandfather grew up in Czechoslovakia during the very worst of communism. Unlike most of these new-age Starbucks-chugging socialists in Brooklyn, they knew the horrors that can come from a state-run economy, and the scars of socialism are seared in her memory. I vividly remember speaking with her during the lead-up to the 2016 election, when she was watching neo-socialists such as Bernie Sanders on CNN almost every day. (We’re working on getting her off the CNN train, by the way. But back in the Czech Republic, you pick up CNN early, like a drug addiction. Soon she’ll be watching Fox with the rest of the sane people in the world).
“Don, don’t these people understand?” she asked, her voice quavering, tears coming to her eyes. This is a woman who hid from Nazis in the basement of her farmhouse as a child and lived under Communist occupation for decades. At ninety-three, she’s still stronger and tougher than most. But she feared that her grandchildren and great-grandchildren might go through some of the same things she went through, and the thought of that had scared the hell out of her.
“They don’t know how bad it can be. Please do something. Don’t they know this is all lies?”
The truth is that most people probably don’t know. They don’t know that socialism—especially this new, hip version of it that’s being pushed by the Democrats—is all just a bunch of nice-sounding lies. They’re happy to buy the rosy picture that the current Democrat Party is pushing. When Democrats tell them that what they’re proposing isn’t “real socialism,” they’re happy to go along with that, too. But socialism has been lurking on the left of the US political system for decades, spreading like a crack in the foundation a few inches every election cycle.
In the aftermath of John F. Kennedy’s presidency and assassination, something called the New Left emerged in American politics. Much like Bernie’s following, the new left found its strength on college campuses across the United States. Organizations such as Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) populated the movement.
Meanwhile, in Washington, Lyndon Baines Johnson, perhaps to provide cover for his failing war in Vietnam, tried to appease the New Left by ushering through a socialist agenda. Among the programs he supported were food stamps in 1964, Medicaid in 1965, and the Gun Control Act of 1968. By the early 1970s, the hippies of the New Left had traded their peace signs for raised fists and terrorist organizations. Among them was the Weather Underground, which was responsible for more than two thousand domestic bombings. The Weather Underground’s manifesto, called Prairie Fire: The Politics of Revolutionary Anti-imperialism, is dedicated to Sirhan Sirhan, Robert Kennedy’s assassin. Then there was the Black Liberation Army, which murdered seventeen American police officers in the 1970s, including six in New York City alone. There was the Symbionese Liberation Army, of Patty Hearst kidnapping fame. On the other side of the spectrum was the United States Christian Posse Association, a precursor of Aryan Nations, which preached violent white supremacy. It was domestic terror groups such as these that led the assault on the United States. In one poll taken at the time, more than 3 million Americans favored a revolution.
The election of Ronald Reagan as president in 1980 and the strength of capitalism brought an end to the socialist insanity that marked the prior decades. Even Bill Clinton tried to ride the prevailing winds. The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act he signed in 1996 sought to combat the cycle of poverty by putting limits on welfare. Still, under the surface, the cracks in the Democrats’ foundation spread and deepened.
Out of those cracks, hidden socialists crawled.
I’m not sure anyone was paying attention in 1988, for example, when Bernie Sanders took a little jaunt over to the Soviet Union to meet with some of the party leaders he admired so much. Anyway, why would they have noticed? In those days, Comrade Bernie was still just the hippie mayor of Burlington, Vermont. No one took him seriously.
Less than four days into his trip, he found himself in a sweaty Russian sauna singing “This Land Is Your Land” with a bunch of bare-chested Communists. I know that sounds like a nightmare, but I can assure you that it is all too real.
It used to be the case that most people—even other crazy liberal Democrats—would just look the other way when Bernie started talking. I don’t know if there was two-camera programming on C-SPAN back in the early 2000s. But if there had been, today you would be able to find clips of Crazy Bernie ranting to an empty Senate chamber, going on about socialized medicine while the janitors came through and scraped gum off the bottoms of the desks.
Next to not having him in the Senate at all, leaving him alone was probably the best way to deal with the guy. Maybe we should have taken him more seriously.
Many people saw Sanders’s run for the presidency in 2016 as a joke. But his crazy socialist ideas of free college, free health care for all, higher minimum wage, income redistribution, and tearing the heart out of capitalism almost gave him the Democrat Party’s nomination. It’s hard to run against “free everything.” Even if that is a pipe dream, it’s appealing to those who don’t get or choose not to realize that nothing is free. He won twenty-three primaries, 13.2 million votes, and 1,865 delegates. Though he ultimately lost to Hillary, in what was really a stolen and rigged primary, his success gave birth to a new generation of socialists who now threaten to take over the Democrat Party—and the country, if they ever find their way to power.
A few years before Bernie took his little Soviet vacation, I was on my first-ever plane ride to Prague. I was five years old, going with my grandfather to visit his home in Communist Czechoslovakia. I had already been once when I was two years old, but this was my first trip without my parents.
Looking back, I guess the trip to where my mother had grown up served two purposes. First, it gave my parents a little peace and quiet for a couple of months, and second, it allowed me to see what life looked like outside a Fifth Avenue penthouse. My parents didn’t believe that a childhood of privilege would do anything good for my development as a human being. My father actually had the conversation with my grandfather, and they both agreed that I needed to see the other side.
My maternal grandfather put in as much work raising me as anyone else in my family. Dedo, Czech for “grandfather,” was tall and handsome with a long, lean body that he’d built by swimming laps in the public pool as a competitor. According to my grandmother, he had been a Czech national team swimming contender as a teenager, but I never got the full story about that. He had dark hair and rough workingman’s hands that were about as big as my whole face. In Czechoslovakia, he was a blue-collar electrician. He was very much his own man in everything he did.
Throughout my entire childhood, Dedo would tell me how lucky I was to live in the United States, a place where a man could get whatever he wanted through hard work and perseverance. I had the kind of freedom he had yearned for his most of his life. But he also warned me about growing up rich and how easy it would be for me to become complacent.
Given that the left will tell you that I was potty trained on a solid-gold toilet, I guess I got his point.
Zlín was a three-hour drive from Prague. The building my grandparents lived in was gray and drab, twelve stories of cheap concrete-and-metal construction. It was designed in the old Soviet fashion, not to make money or push architecture forward but to keep the status quo. The apartment was a one-bedroom, as were all the apartments in the building. They were barely big enough for a couple, let alone a family. I don’t remember the structure having an elevator. I made a friend on the tenth floor, and we would run up and down the stairs to see each other.
Visiting my grandparents was like going back in time sixty years. Most of the people who lived there kept chickens in the backyard. I would help my friends pluck and butcher them—I butchered hundreds of chickens in my childhood. Milk was sold in glass bottles with foil seals. Although the apartment was in the city, it was on the outskirts. Three hundred yards or so from where they lived was a tree line to a small forest we called “the woods.” After breakfast and the wood chopping, Dedo would point to the woods and say, “There’s the woods. Go. I’ll see you at dark.” I’d spend all day in the woods trying to master the things my grandfather had shown me how to do: shoot a bow and an air gun, make a fire, swing an ax, and throw a knife—all that guy stuff. There were aqueduct tunnels that my friends and I would explore, holding up homemade torches made with pine sap. It was during those early experiences that I first began to love the outdoors, a love that’s a fixture of my life to this day.
Though I treasured the great outdoors, I wasn’t crazy about speaking Czech at first. My mother and grandparents had started speaking it to me so early that by the time I was three, I was completely fluent. Sometimes I couldn’t tell the difference between Czech and English. I only knew that my friends back in New York would laugh at me when I slipped into speaking Czech by accident. To this day, I have a clear memory of sitting in my grandmother’s kitchen one night and screaming “Nechci mluvit cesky!” at the top of my lungs. It means “I don’t want to speak Czech!” in Czech. I totally didn’t realize I was doing it.
(Just as an aside, I’m sure if anyone heard me speaking Czech, they’d take it as some kind of proof that I had colluded with Russia. I’ve actually heard pundits on television using my second language as proof that I must love “Mother Russia.” Not only is the Czech language different from Russian, the Czechs have no love of Russia. If those crazies had bothered to learn the history between the two countries, they would have known that the Soviet Union occupied Czechoslovakia from just after World War II to the fall of the Berlin Wall. The Russians destroyed many things in the country.So, there’s certainly no love lost there, to say the least. But these days, the narrative rules the facts).
Still, there was something about life in Zlín that I found comforting. Around a campfire, I developed amazing friendships that I’ve kept to this day. In Czechoslovakia, I learned the value of friends over tangible objects. Despite the difficulties they endured, the people there had great relationships, great families whom they cared about. They just had to do it somewhat hidden from the Communist Party, I guess. Eastern Europeans are some of the hardest-working people in America—once they get here. The thing that they were missing in Czechoslovakia was motivation.
My grandparents lived practically their whole lives around people who relied on the government for everything. When Czech citizens wanted a new house, they talked to the government. When they wanted a new job or a promotion, they spoke to the government. Health care and elder care and retirement funds, all low quality compared to their counterparts in the United States, came from the state. In Czechoslovakia, the government gave the people everything they needed to exist (barely) and then asked for a small amount of labor in return. People worked in careers that would maintain the status quo and provide for the state, and everyone made roughly the same amount of money. No one could make a higher wage just because he or she worked harder. There were no incentives, so there was no economic growth. The only people with any money were the people who had connections to the top ranks of the Communist Party, and most of that money was either dirty or stolen.
If you weren’t in the Communist Party, things were harder. My grandfather refused to join the Party and got away with it only because of his expertise as an electrician. Because of their non-Party status, my grandparents were always last in line for everything. The government issued tickets for food, but by the time my grandmother got her turn, there would be nothing left. My grandfather once waited eight hours for an orange. My grandmother made all of my mother’s dresses by hand because the store shelves were empty when she was allowed to shop.
On my visits to the country, I experienced the bread lines and the poverty myself. When I talk about why socialism is bad, it’s not because I’ve read articles about it or seen people talking about it on Twitter. I’ve been there, and I know why no one who’s actually lived under these systems ever advocates for them.