Stress Test

How Donald Trump Threatens American Democracy

Non-Fiction - Gov/Politics
184 Pages
Reviewed on 06/03/2022
Buy on Amazon

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Free Book Program, which is open to all readers and is completely free. The author will provide you with a free copy of their book in exchange for an honest review. You and the author will discuss what sites you will post your review to and what kind of copy of the book you would like to receive (eBook, PDF, Word, paperback, etc.). To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email.

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Review Exchange Program, which is open to all authors and is completely free. Simply put, you agree to provide an honest review an author's book in exchange for the author doing the same for you. What sites your reviews are posted on (B&N, Amazon, etc.) and whether you send digital (eBook, PDF, Word, etc.) or hard copies of your books to each other for review is up to you. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email, and be sure to describe your book or include a link to your Readers' Favorite review page or Amazon page.

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Donation Program, which was created to help nonprofit and charitable organizations (schools, libraries, convalescent homes, soldier donation programs, etc.) by providing them with free books and to help authors garner more exposure for their work. This author is willing to donate free copies of their book in exchange for reviews (if circumstances allow) and the knowledge that their book is being read and enjoyed. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email. Be sure to tell the author who you are, what organization you are with, how many books you need, how they will be used, and the number of reviews, if any, you would be able to provide.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Francis Mont for Readers' Favorite

Stress Test: How Donald Trump Threatens American Democracy by William Cooper is a collection of previously published columns by the author. The theme is American Democracy, its current state of health, and the stresses it has undergone during and after the Trump presidency. The collection systematically analyzes the key preconditions of a healthy democratic system and points out the danger signs that we have all witnessed during the unprecedented period it’s dealing with. It starts with the 2019 impeachment proceeding; then continues with an analysis of the judiciary; then the role and condition of the press; it follows with a description of voter apathy, cognitive dissonance, and powerful bias permeating the citizenry. The criminal justice system’s dismal record is followed by a detailed analysis of the January 6 insurrection at the Capitol and Trump’s role in it. The 2020 election is covered in one column and then he dives into the thorny issue of what can we do in the “The Way Forward” column in which he points out the danger signs American democracy is facing now with Trump still looming large, casting a dark shadow on America’s future

I have very seldom read a collection as factually balanced as this one. In our age of extreme opinions, painting everything as wholly good or evil, it is so refreshing to read a rational analysis, in the best sense of the word. The author cautions us that rationality most and foremost has to consider the facts that are well documented and well understood. Once in possession of the facts, rational human beings have to use intelligent judgment to evaluate them and draw cautious conclusions, ready to modify them as and when new facts emerge or old ones are discarded. Scientists use the same method (The Scientific Method) to achieve great results in areas of science, medicine, and technology. Human beings, dealing with their own issues about their democratic institutions should do the same. The writing is clear, concise, thorough, and often passionate. William Cooper’s Stress Test should be required reading for all segments of the citizenry from politicians to educators to the press. Highly recommended.

Pikasho Deka

Stress Test: How Donald Trump Threatens American Democracy is a political essay by columnist William Cooper that sheds light on the factors weakening the fundamentals of American democracy. In this book, the author recalls the tumultuous governance of the Trump Presidency and recounts how a slew of misbehaviors and bad judgment calls have paved the way for it to become the norm. It's not just Trump and his associates but also his opponents who have continuously played the zero-sum partisan game of toeing the party line no matter what. The book covers events from the beginning of Trump's first impeachment to Joe Biden's fifteen months in his tenure. Cooper also touches upon the devastating impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the people incarcerated in various prisons across the country.

Nowadays, it's becoming increasingly difficult to differentiate fact from fiction. Most American citizens aren't well-versed in the subtle nuances and intricacies of how government works and, as such, take information at face value. With this book, author William Cooper debunks some widely accepted preconceived notions about Trump's impeachment, his relationship with Russia, Biden's withholding of Ukraine aid, and many more. Cooper emphasizes that without bipartisan support for upholding constitutional values and context-based perspectives on facts, the American democratic experiment loses much of its power and standing. It is of utmost importance that people form their opinions based on actual facts with context and then take a stance. Stress Test: How Donald Trump Threatens American Democracy is an illuminating book that anyone who is interested in American politics should read.

Jon Michael Miller

Stress Test: How Donald Trump Threatens American Democracy by William Cooper is a compilation of the author’s columns, 36 of them, starting July 31, 2019, and ending March 8, 2022. Each is a 5–10-minute read, each one a worthwhile read at that. They are arranged under nine chapter headings, each around a specific heading. Mr. Cooper’s conclusion seems clear in his title, but the progression of the columns does not start with the conclusion that Mr. Trump is a danger to our democracy. In fact, the author begins as a moderate, placing blame for the developing crisis on both sides of the aisle and on the American public en masse. One thing is clear, however: Mr. Cooper cherishes American democracy though he is not, from the outset, naïve about its flaws. His premise is that the last number of years has placed it under severe stress, revealing both its strengths and its weaknesses.

I appreciate William Cooper’s clear-headedness, his logical mind, his fairness, and his reluctance to have arrived at the conclusion implicit in his title. He found many flaws in both impeachments as well as in the American citizenry’s inability to overcome its biases and tribal thinking. But at last, he came to his final assessment because he had no choice. Mr. Cooper writes with moderation and clarity, aware of the human tendency to make decisions in line with their own ways of seeing the world. Like a dedicated juror, he views the evidence step by step, looks at both sides fairly, and comes to his conclusion because of what he sees as the most fundamental American requirement for a sound democracy—the purity (as much as is possible) of the voting booth. Stress Test is a carefully reasoned and clearly presented step-by-chronological step, based upon evidence, of the present fragile state of our country’s future, how we got here, who is ultimately responsible, and what we must do about it. William Cooper’s collection of columns is essential reading for anyone who cares about the future of our democracy.

Philip Van Heusen

In Stress Test: How Donald Trump Threatens American Democracy, William Cooper presents a fair evaluation of the presidency of Donald Trump. Of course, as you read these newspaper columns, you may not always agree with William’s assessment. Still, you will be led into thinking through your position. For example, one of his articles stresses the importance of context. I wholeheartedly agree that context is essential, but facts can be misinterpreted, even in context. One hot potato that William brings to the forefront is the criminal justice system. While others predicted that he would not leave the White House if Trump lost the 2020 election, William assured his readers that Trump would leave and explained why. It does not matter if you are on the left, right, or even in the center; you will enjoy this book. The reader will applaud parts of what William says, while the same reader will mercilessly condemn what he has to say on other points.

While William Cooper tries to remain neutral in his discussions concerning Trump and politics, his bias sometimes shows. For example, the mere title of his book, Stress Test: How Donald Trump Threatens American Democracy, indicates a bias against the former President of the United States. However, for the most part, William does an admirable job of treating both sides of the issue in an even-handed manner. If nothing else, this book will cause you to think. As Pilate asked Jesus, “What is truth?” this book seeks to clarify the rhetoric of politics and present what the reality is. Stress Test covers many more topics that have affected America in approximately the past six years. First, William presents the facts and then his opinion of how they affected America.

Tommy Wong

Stress Test: How Donald Trump Still Threatens American Democracy by William Cooper is a fascinating book on recent political events in the United States. The book covers the period from 2019, after the Democrats won a majority in the House of Representatives, to the first few months of 2022, nearly 15 months into Joe Biden’s presidency. Cooper is an attorney and columnist. In the book, his columns are reproduced to show how Trump-era politics tested the four essential principles of American democracy. The first is fidelity to the Constitution of the United States, while the second is respect for the rule of law. The third is the commitment to rational government, and the fourth is the notion that government officials are chosen by the people in free and fair elections.

According to William Cooper in Stress Test: How Donald Trump Still Threatens American Democracy, Trump is at the center of the storm. He also maintains that Trump isn’t the only problem. This sets the stage for the stress test of the world’s preeminent constitutional democracy. I found the columns by the author to be insightful and engaging. I particularly liked the columns Democrats and Republicans Must Separate the Signal From the Noise, Cognitive Dissonance in American Politics, and all the columns in Chapter 8 which is titled The Big Picture. While many may find politics confusing, all they have to remember is that “The key to any democracy is the people themselves” as stated in the conclusion. A great read.