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I have never met Trump. I don’t know his close friends and aides. In lieu of any insider information, I wanted to offer a sort of Thucydidean account, neither rah-rah in support or unhinged in hatred, of why the country by 2016 was ready for an unlikely Manhattan billionaire populist candidate without either prior military or political experience. 

More specially, I explore in the book how Trump crafted a brilliant but unorthodox political-geographic agenda to win the Electoral College—concentrating on restoring manufacturing, demanding trade symmetries with allies and rivals, curtailing optional overseas interventions, advocating legal only immigration, and no longer playing by Marquess of Queensberry rules toward the Democrats and the media. 

So Trump’s message defied the conventional political wisdom of both the Republican and Democratic establishments in his faith that the so-called deplorables were neither yet a spent force electorally nor entirely responsible for often being left behind by the bicoastal, globalization-fed new affluence. Sixteen rival Republican primary candidates—the most impressive field the GOP had fielded in years—along with Hillary Clinton missed those truths.

In response to Trump’s message and his role as a tough and occasionally crass messenger, we have seen an unprecedented effort — often unethical and illegal — by the proverbial deep state, political opposition, and media to abort a campaign and later a presidency. Much of the intense opposition was fueled by politics, but not all of it, given the cultural unease our elites feel toward Trump’s personal history and comportment.:snip:

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