Book review: UnPresidented, by Jon Sopel

It was an election liķe no other.
The same, of course, has been said of most recent US elections ‐ the 2000 Bush/Gore disputed result, Obama’s historic 2008 win, the 2016 Trump upset. But as veteran British correspondent, Jon Sopel’s diaries remind us, the 2020 campaign really was, again, an election like no other. This is partly because of the unprecedented circumstances: the combination of a global pandemic, the resulting economic crisis and the George Floyd riots made it seem like a replay of 1919, 1929 and 1968 all at once.
It was also because of the uniquely eccentric and belligerent personality of the defeated Republican candidate, President Donald Trump. With the ultimately victorious Democratic presidential nominee, Joe Biden maintaining a low profile, the transparent and belligerent Trump largely lost the election by himself, suggesting at one point that the public inject themselves with bleach, deliberately and dishonestly playing down the extent of the pandemic and shamelessly and recklessly helping spread the virus himself amongst the population during his campaign.
Sopel’s compelling diaries now contain a new introduction on the violent aftermath of the election result and Trump’s second impeachment.

4 thoughts on “Book review: UnPresidented, by Jon Sopel

  1. Trump was belligerent to whom? The biased press? Certainly. Career politicians who’ve done nothing but sow division, war and strife? Most definitely. European leaders who have, for too long, depended on the American tax payer for endless, destructive global policies that have done f-all? 100%
    Belligerent to the working class, American citizen? Never. Did he ever call huge swaths of private citizens “terrorists”? Did instruct his federal police force to put American parents on “domestic enemies” lists for speaking up at meetings at their children’s school?
    Did he fund Putin’s barbaric, genocidal invasion of sovereign Ukraine with billions in oil money? Did he open a border and hand over its control to human trafficking cartels? Did he plunge the American working class into devastating inflation making their lives even harder than they are?
    I think you have a strange definition of belligerent.

  2. Thank you for your comments, Derrick.
    Given that Trump openly encouraged a massive riot to occur in Washington DC during his final days in office which actually resulted in the unnecessary deaths of a number of the working-class American citizens who you claim he cared so much about, I think “belligerent” is certainly the correct word to use here.

  3. Derrick, Trump was actually a lot more pro-European than you make him sound (and certainly more so than you seem yourself). To his detriment, Trump was far closer to Putin than any other US president has been.

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