It would have been easy for Michael Savage to write a book about the election of Donald Trump that boils down to “I told you so.”
After all, Savage was one of Trump’s earliest supporters. But instead of taking the easy route, Savage has written Trump’s War: His Battle for America, a comprehensive battle plan for the Trump administration ranging from his familiar topics of “borders, language, and culture,” to economics and the deep state.
Savage’s thesis is straightforward. The election of President Donald Trump was not a final victory, but instead a first shot in the coming political war. He draws a comparison to the Revolutionary War in the first chapter:
The war for independence wasn’t won at Lexington and Concord in 1775. That was only the beginning. The colonists would have to fight the mightiest empire in the world for eight long years before their independence was finally secured.
Trump and the patriots who elected him are going to have to fight their own eight-year war as well. The question is, what will that war look like? How is Donald Trump going to make good on all his campaign promises?
Savage’s detractors might be put off by the militant tone of the book, starting with its title: Trump’s War: His Battle for America. Savage considers this war to be a psychological fight, but we’ve witnessed physical violence against Trump supporters both before and after his election, and even allegedly against Michael Savage himself.
If you aren’t a regular listener of The Michael Savage Show, Trump’s War will be a baptism by fire. Savage is running on all cylinders from page one, which means this book has less in common with a smooth takeoff and ascent to cruising altitude than it does with a catapult-assisted launch from an aircraft carrier with afterburners aflame.
Savage pulls no punches in Trump’s War, he writes with the same trademark bombast with which he delivers his radio program. Former President Obama is called the “Marxist in Chief”, and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan is called “Obama’s beard.” The disdain Savage has for White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, who he calls “Rinso,” is palpable throughout the book.
A Michael Savage book wouldn’t be authentic without including his style, but Trump’s War cannot be easily dismissed for a little name-calling. Savage makes thoughtful points in every chapter, backing up his opinions and thoughts with factual data that is frequently footnoted.
Savage brings fresh insight in Trump’s War to a key fight for President Trump, fixing health care in America. Dr. Savage’s Ph.D. in epidemiology and nutrition sciences make him uniquely qualified to comment on some of the failings of the American medical system, but most interestingly, his chapter on health care focuses on what was wrong with the system before Obamacare.
The FDA is a primary target for Savage, who makes the case that Trump must overhaul the agency to lower costs and promote competition amongst pharmaceutical companies. He illustrates this argument with the example of Mylan’s EpiPen, the price of which rose 540 percent over nine years. To quote Savage, “If Mylan had even two or three other competitors, do you think they would have been able to raise the price of the EpiPen more than 540 percent in nine years? Of course not.”
Savage doesn’t leave this analysis with the EpiPen, which has been in the headlines for months. He instead exposes the systemic nature of the problems at the FDA:
The problem is most people believe the EpiPen example is the outlier rather than the norm. It’s not. As of last July, the FDA had more than 4,000 generic drugs awaiting approval. That’s compared to just 24 on the European Medicines Agency’s waiting list! The EMA is Europe’s version of the FDA. How could Europe possibly be so much better at this than the United States?
The FDA claims it’s just a matter of manpower. Every time a government agency fails, it wants more funding. Well, I have news for you. The EMA’s annual budget is €322.1 million, which is a little over $342 million in U.S. dollars. By comparison, the FDA’s annual budget was $4.9 billion in fiscal year 2016. That means the FDA spent 14 times more money to have a drug waiting list 168 times the size of Europe’s!
Michael Savage is most at odds throughout much of the book with Republicans he views as attempting to undermine Trump’s presidency. This won’t come as a surprise to regular listeners, as Savage has been an outsider for many years, but he frequently expresses concern that Trump’s worst enemies will come from the right, not from the left. Just consider this passage from the chapter “Trump’s War with the RINOs”:
Our job for 2017 and beyond is enormous. It’s bigger than it was before the election. Our battle has just begun. We can’t become complacent, settle back, and say, “Trump won; now I can relax.” Every minute of every day, even while you’re sleeping, the creeping nightmare that is the Republican Party takes over more territory within the Trump administration. We have to stand vigilant and support Trump against them. If we allow the party elites to succeed, we may as well have never elected Trump in the first place.
If Savage’s position on the Republican party wasn’t clear enough, he has added an asterisk to the title of the chapter, which leads to this note:
Rino originally stood for “Republicans in Name Only,” meaning a Republican who campaigned on conservative principles but then acted like a progressive once in power. I use the term in that sense, although the Republican Party has become so replete with liberal internationalists the acronym is somewhat a misnomer.
Savage is not shy about his support for Donald Trump. He considers Trump’s victory to be “God’s will.” But this book clearly shows that he will not be a cheerleader for the Trump administration. He states, “I will continue to do my job as a member of the fourth estate: to be a thorn in the government’s side, even Donald Trump’s government, if it goes off course.”
Savage is critical of both Trump appointees and statements that have come from the administration during its transition and early days. This extends beyond Reince Priebus — in this book Savage advises his readers to not blindly follow every decision the Trump administration makes. In fact, a section of the final chapter is devoted to the danger of those who are intolerant of dissent with Trump and his appointees, whom he derides as “true believers.”
Both fans of The Michael Savage Show and those less familiar with Savage’s works will find interesting and thought-provoking points in Trump’s War. The arguments he makes are often more nuanced than one would expect — for example, in his chapter on the environment, he both argues against the science behind global warming, but also for saving the whales. There are plenty of controversial points made in this book, ranging from conservation to the minimum wage, and there will be points the reader will disagree with. Savage expects this; his argument against “true believers” in Trump’s administration point towards a similar feeling about his own supporters, which he calls the “Savage Nation.”
Colin Madine is deputy editor of Breitbart Tech and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org