An article from the LA Times (h/t Ray Kwong) that I read this week makes it look as though Donald Trump isn't quite as as low-information as Sarah Palin, though. He's at least read a few books.
Trump recently gave China's Xinhua News a list of his "Top 20 China books." As a HUGE China book nerd, I have to say, he has a surprisingly impressive list:
1. "The Party" by Richard McGregorThere are a couple questionable books on this list. The widely criticized Mao: The Untold Story, for instance, reads like an Ayn Rand novel and should not be #3. But I'm nitpicking here. I'm impressed that Trump has read The Party, Country Driving, Factory Girls, and Kissinger's On China (a book that I'll be reviewing here on the blog next week).
2. "On China" by Henry Kissinger
3. "Mao: The Untold Story" by Jung Chang
4. "Tide Players" by Jianying Zha
5. "One Billion Customers" by James McGregor
6. "The Coming China Wars" by Peter W. Navarro
7. "The Beijing Consensus" by Stefan Halper
8. "China CEO" by Juan Antonio Fernandez and Laurie Underwood
9. "Poorly Made in China" by Paul Midler
10. "CHINA: Portrait of a People" by Tom Carter
11. "The Man Who Loved China" by Simon Winchester
12. "China Shakes the World" by James Kynge
13. "Mr. China" by Tim Clissold
14. "Country Driving" by Peter Hessler
15. "The Dragon's Gift" by Deborah Brautigam
16. "Factory Girls" by Leslie T. Chang
17. "The Heavenly Man" by Brother Yun
18. "1421" by Gavin Menzies
19. "Seven Years in Tibet" by Heinrich Harrer
20. "Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother" by Amy Chua
The Donald is definitely no Sarah Palin.
Saying that, I have not enjoyed at all the venom that Trump has brought to the political scene since he began exploring his presidential ambitions. The racist undertones of the "birther" movement that he's exhorted highlight some of the worst undercurrents of America.
I don't think Trump is going to factor much in next year's presidential election. He may very well run, but I don't see him being able to pull off a real campaign. For example:
He is cleverly capitalizing on having his name in the news for his trash television shows, though. He's great at pushing his brand and attracting attention (hence, this blog post). I'll give him that.