anne mikolay 2018

anne mikolay 2018Two recent books are causing quite a stir: Triggered, How the Left Thrives on Hate and Wants to Silence Us, by Donald Trump, Jr., and A Warning by Anonymous. I take issue with both.

I briefly considered reading Triggered, on sale now, until I heard what Don, Jr. wrote about his visit to Arlington National Cemetery. When President-elect Trump and his family were at Arlington  to lay a wreath on the tomb of the Unknowns, Don, Jr. was struck by the similarities between the Trumps and the fallen.

“In that moment,” young Trump wrote, “I also thought of all the attacks we’d already suffered as a family, and about all the sacrifices we’d have to make to help my father succeed – voluntarily giving up a huge chunk of our business and all international deals to avoid the appearance that we were profiting off the office.”


What kind of person looks upon the markers of the many American veterans resting in Arlington National Cemetery and immediately equates their sacrifices with lost income and financial gain? Who likens unfavorable press and social commentary to the loss of life itself? These are the thoughts of someone with an inflated ego. Only someone lacking empathy, who measures human worth by monetary gain, would dare to compare their privileged self to heroes buried at Arlington. Obviously, Triggered was written with a certain audience in mind; therefore, I’ll skip it. I’m not the least bit interested in knowing what a spoiled rich kid has to say.

But at least Donald Trump, Jr. put his name on his work. Anonymous did not.

Marketed as “an unprecedented behind-the-scenes portrait of the Trump presidency from the anonymous senior official whose first words of warning about the president rocked the nation’s capital,” A Warning is scheduled for release on November 19th. According to the Washington Post, A Warning “paints a chilling portrait of the president as cruel, inept, and a danger to the nation he was elected to lead.” (Dare I say, “DUH!”) In his/her book, Anonymous, who penned a 2018 anti-Trump op-ed published in the New York Times, likens Donald Trump to a “twelve-year-old in an air traffic control tower, pushing the buttons of government indiscriminately, indifferent to the planes skidding across the runway and the flights frantically diverting away from the airport.” While I find the creative metaphor quite telling, I doubt its effectiveness when I don’t know who is behind it. The author remains anonymous, he/she says, because “this is not about me. It is about us.” I have to agree with White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham on this one. Anyone who doesn’t put their name on their work is a “coward.” Until Anonymous grows a backbone and publicly stands behind his/her words, A Warning is nothing more than tabloid gossip from an unknown source. In these days of looming impeachment, there is no more room for the “quiet resistance” anonymous spoke of in his/her New York Times piece. The United States is where it is today because nobody privy to the chaotic inner workings of the Trump administration has the courage to come forward and take a stand. Anonymous, despite his/her allegedly patriotic intentions, is very much a part of the problem.

Triggered and A Warning present opposing viewpoints of the current administration, but neither has much merit. Trump, Jr.’s relationship to the president precludes objectivity; as an invisible Trump critic, anonymous can’t expect anyone to believe a word he/she says from the shadows.

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Anne Mikolay

Anne M. Mikolay joined The Atlantic Highlands Herald as a columnist in 2008. Prior to penning “The Armchair Critic,” Anne wrote feature articles for The Monmouth Journal. Her work has appeared in national...