• Everything Trump Touches Dies

  • By: Rick Wilson
  • Narrated by: Rick Wilson
  • Length: 10 hrs and 3 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (3,123 ratings)

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Everything Trump Touches Dies

By: Rick Wilson
Narrated by: Rick Wilson
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Publisher's Summary

Includes a brand-new afterword read by the author!  

A respected, longtime Republican strategist, ad maker, and contributor for The Daily Beast skewers the disease that is destroying the conservative movement and burning down the GOP: Trumpism.

In Everything Trump Touches Dies, political campaign strategist and commentator Rick Wilson brings his darkly funny humor and biting analysis to the absurdity of American politics in the age of Trump. Wilson mercilessly exposes the damage Trump has done to the country, to the Republican Party he served for decades, and to the conservative movement that has abandoned its principles for the worst president in American history.

No left-winger, Wilson is a lifelong conservative who delivers his withering critique of Trump from the right. A leader of the Never Trump movement, he warns his own party of the political catastrophe that leaves everyone involved with Trump with reputations destroyed and lives in tatters.

Wilson unblinkingly dismantles Trump’s deceptions and the illusions to which his supporters cling, shedding light on the guilty parties who empower and enable Trump in Washington and the news media. He calls out the race-war dead-enders who hitched a ride with Trump, the alt-right basement dwellers who worship him, and the social conservatives who looked the other way.

Everything Trump Touches Dies deftly chronicles the tragicomic Trump story from the early campaign days through the shock of election night to the inconceivable train wreck of Trump's first year. Rick Wilson provides not only an insightful analysis of the Trump administration but also an optimistic path forward for the GOP, the conservative movement, and the country.

Combining insider political analysis, blunt truths, and black humor, Everything Trump Touches Dies is perfect for those on either side of the aisle who need a dose of unvarnished reality, a good laugh, a strong cocktail, and a return to sanity in American politics.

©2018 Rick Wilson (P)2018 Simon & Schuster
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

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Everything Trump Touches Dies is a hard book to review

Hi all!

This was a funny, irreverent, and steeply unapologetic book about The Trump Presidency. Reading this as a Democrat and Liberal, I can’t help but point out the obvious fallacy of this book: Rick Wilson tries hard to point the blame at Trump for everything that is wrong with the Republican Party. I believe, however, that Trump is a symptom of the deeper Republican problem— not the cause. These issues of racism, bigotry, and prejudice did not just crop up in 2016; they are issues that have plagued the Republican Party for years. Trump may be the antithesis of everything traditional conservatives believe, but their neighbors in the Republican Party were asking for it for a decade or more.

If, like me, you are a Democrat who wishes to read this book, buckle up and prepare to grit your teeth. A lot. But also prepare to laugh and walk away with a deeper understanding of “that other party.”

127 people found this helpful

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Glad I'm not a Trump fan!

I expected this book to be a blockbuster, but even I could not anticipate how blistering this book would be. Rick Wilson loathes Donald Trump and all those who surround him, and he is happy to let the rest of us in on his insider's story. Love it if you despise Trump; hate it if you love him. And if you're a smug Democrat (as I am), be prepared to hear some unhappy challenges to your intellectual superiority.

82 people found this helpful

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A Great Listen (No Matter What Your Party Is)!

This is one of those books that you will be apt to feel just a bit guilty about reading (or, listening to). It is brutal, highly judgmental, often sarcastic, and even quite crude, at times. Regardless, it is a frank, unvarnished insider's look at the Trump presidency told by an undeniably well-informed Republican political strategist. Humor is the sugar that makes this bitter political tale palatable. Rick Wilson's narration provides a rare first-hand expression of the emotions attached to the fears, frustrations, regrets, and anxieties surrounding the story.

This is a rare example of a Trump critique from the point of view of a true conservative and there is something for any political partisan in this book. For liberals, there is a rare view of how the rise of Trumpism has damaged the GOP and destabilized the two party system. For conservatives, there is an explanation of how years of political scorched earth tactics sabotaged the future of the party. For those who didn't vote or voted for certain losers, it shows how they became dupes of those who sought to manipulate the election.

This book will ultimately challenge many of the long-held beliefs of partisans of every stripe. After listening to it, even if you maintain your old opinion, you will probably need to rethink it.

66 people found this helpful

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ETTD surgically removed my rose-colored glasses

Like getting a colonoscopy or eating my vegetables, I know that swallowing the ETTD pill (though difficult at times) was good for me.

Like the above, it was made infinitely more enjoyable with a stiff drink.

I feel smarter now. I may not actually BE smarter... but I FEEL smarter. Learning how the sausage we know as "Donald Trump" was made, although distressing at first, has made me calmer about the future of our country.

I've learned that the GOP hasn't really lost their collective marbles or sold their souls to the devil (although Evangelicals actually have). No, the GOP haven't drunk the koolaid, they're simply cowards who can (and most likely will) be voted out.

I hope the leaders of the Democratic party will digest the wisdom Rick Wilson lovingly spoon fed them and use it like Popeye uses spinach.

Eat! Eat! Will make you strong like bull!

I effing love this book! I effing love that Rick Wilson narrated it! I effing love how entertaining it is!

In keeping with my food analogy: ETTD is like chicken soup for the disillusioned patriot soul.

Read it, learn it, live it. You'll be glad you did!


61 people found this helpful

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"I laugh, because I must not cry..."

I am proud to stand and be counted among Rick Wilson's fans. Before going any further, a bit of an explanation is in order.
For most of my life, I've considered myself rather right-of-center. I've been a country kid all my life, first in Minnesota and then in Tennessee. I'm a straight white male, in my twenties. I read the Bible often, I love owning guns, I put up with paying taxes, I won't take a dime if I ain't earned it (thank you, Josh Thompson), and I consider it a privilege to have a grandfather, an uncle, a college history professor, and a little brother in the US Marines. In other words, I ought to be the target demographic for the MAGA message. But I am not and never will be, an admirer of the current President. When he said John McCain wasn't a hero, and chose to insult Mr. and Mrs. Khan, I knew I would never, ever warm to this man. While in college, I had the privilege of studying abroad in Vietnam twice, with Dr. Frisby, the aforementioned Marine veteran who was one of my history teachers. Both times, we visited Hoa Lo Prison (the "Hanoi Hilton"). What is more, I saw a monument erected in Hanoi, erected in McCain's honor, on the shores of the lake where he had ejected and was captured during the war. When the POTUS has less respect for one of America's greatest heroes than the same country that imprisoned and tortured him, something is fundamentally, unmistakably wrong.

I relate everything above in an effort to show that I am not your average flag-burning pinko, SJW, or some Antifa whackadoodle chucking Molotov cocktails on the streets of Portland. I love America, and being American, and the more history I read and learn, the more love I have for this country; and the more anger I have towards those on the Left who think that America is somehow What's Wrong with the World, and who ceaselessly carry water for any crackpot tyrant who will slander the United States. For a long time, I would have been proud to be considered a man of the Right.

No longer. From 2016 onward, what should be obvious to everyone is that there is something deeply rotten and foul in the body and mind of the American Right. When the President's most fervent followers constitute a veritable Who's Who of the meanest, craziest, vilest, greediest, most hypocritical, violent, and bigoted people in the nation...anyone with a deep-seated love of this country ought to be taken aback. How did we go so horribly astray? And how do we correct our course?

Enter Rick Wilson. In this book, he gave us (to quote the man himself) the tough love that we never got from talk radio. In a media landscape saturated with self-aggrandizement and algorithm-enforced flattery, Wilson's book, as well as his continued writings in The Daily Beast, function as a bucket of ice water thrown in a drunk's face. Sometimes, we all need to be slapped around a bit before we can regain our senses. What makes Wilson valuable as a commentator is not just his frankness, his acidic sense of humor, his flair for insult comedy that rival's Trump's own (he needs to trademark "The Hucklebeast" before somebody else does!) and his own political savvy after years in the arena. It's his willingness to punch both Right and Left, and his refusal to be anyone's fool. This book is full of harsh (but good) medicine for people on either side of the infantile battle between All the Little Trumps and the Sandernistas. In Rick Wilson's quest for common sense and for patriotism, nobody is safe and no sacred cow is left un-grilled. And the book is all the funnier for it. Sometimes, the truth is so painful it's hilarious.

49 people found this helpful

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Talking sense and talking trash in perfect sync!

Let's be real, you're here to hear a well-spoken man bash trump. He does so both eloquently and sensibly while remaining entertaining. He definitely has some strong republican views, but as a democrat I found myself respecting his version of republicanism - one that doesn't kowtow to hatred, fear-mongering, and a general sense of nothing-matters-but-the-votes. Definitely worth a listen. Its both enjoyable and thought provoking.

45 people found this helpful

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A republican who is about to change party affiliation

I wish I discovered this book earlier. I have been a fan of Rick since I first saw him on CNN. I have been voting R since Eisenhower. The 2020 election will be my first D vote ever and Rick has reinforced my belief that I am doing the right thing.

35 people found this helpful

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Don't be what you claim to despise.

The author is clearly brilliant, but with dings that suggest a visit to a body shop are in order. He despises his own creation. As a speechwriter and strategist, he engaged the terrible power of negative campaigning. Now, he has the audacity to object to its inevitable outcome. That is despicable, and the worse for his amazing intellect, vocabulary, breadth of vision (with blind spots you could hide a truck in). At the most superficial level, he is still attacking, still playing to rage and disappointment. But this is his baby. He helped in birthing it and guided its upbringing/ Since 1985, he has been harnessing rage, name-calling, oversimplification and disinformation, and now he's upset that there is Trump. He helped create a world, politically, where Trump is only the most recent, if pustulent, symptom.

On another level, where I had hoped for a sane and perceptive conservative, I got another confirmed partisan bullsh*tter. He equates the google-eyed madness of Trump's followers ("We love the less educated") with the hope and admiration falsely offered by Obama, who presented as a justice-seeking progressive and turned out to be another corporatist. But he had charisma, and more, he had a brain. He had a vocabulary. He could string two thoughts together. After Dubya, that was a pleasure approaching the sensual. Obama spoke in complete sentences, had a skiillful finger on the pulse of the electorate. He earned respect where Trump demanded it.. Lousy comparison. Also, Rick, I don't know of one pro-choice person who supports "government-paid, late third-trimester abortions." More agitprop worthy of Hannity.

In the end, he turns out to be what he despises: a skillful manipulator of low-hanging emotions, a name-caller, more sarcastic (because he's a lot smarter) than his target subject. A great disappointment that is being returned. I appreciate attempts to shed light on the darkness that is Trump support. Perhaps this book will serve to pry some authentic conservatives (for it is a valid position) loose from their current, raving madness. Let's give it that, though Mr. Wilson vocabulary is far beyond most of that demographic. There may be some. But his typical wingnut calumniation of the other side, presumably his allies in recognizing Trump's fraudulent baboon-wranging, liberals longing for intelligent dialogue with a wise conservative, is a great letdown.

27 people found this helpful

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Entertaining, masterful roast of Trump's GOP

Rick is a master with the English language. He's an insider and pulls no punches showing the moral rot of what used to be the GOP (and the political ineptitude of the Dems).

If you've followed Trump-Russia, the thread that is noticeably unpulled in this book is the collusion, illegality, and likely layers of dirty dealings and blackmail that have gone into the cartoonish, slobbering public prostrations GOPers give Trump. Rick shows the indefensible positions, mocks the absurdity and moral decrepitude of it all, then essentially shrugs with a "gee, wonder why they did that..?" and moves on.

In a sense, what Rick's book shows is who was and was not on the take. Rick Wilson, for whatever you think of his previous work writing attack ads against Dems, was not on the take.

And about that past work... Rick casually slips in that he helped with the (brilliant) ads that took down (leacherous GOP candidate and odious human) Roy Moore. That fact should chasten Dems who laugh along with Rick's assessment of the Dem's political incompetence, but then think, "yeah, but Trump is so toxic now that he'll take down himself, ...right?" Not true. Just like the 2016 election that was Hillary's to lose (and I'm actually a huge Hillary fan), Dems may lose again if they don't quickly lean on and learn from people like Rick Wilson.


24 people found this helpful

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The definitive version

You can get the Kindle version (and I have), but you’ll be missing out.

Rick’s (in)famous tone of voice, the sound effects and the occasional musical choices in the audio were far more entertaining than just reading the words.

22 people found this helpful

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  • jonty59
  • 03-18-22

Much better than you might expect from the title

I thought this might be a Trump bandwagon book from the title, but I went with the numerous 5 star reviews and I wasn't disappointed. I really enjoyed Rick Wilson's style and delivery and found myself looking forward to the next withering take down of one of Trump's sycophants. The book is 4 years old but it is predictive of the November 2020 defeat and the disgusting scenes which followed it in the succeeding months. Every Republican who held their noses and voted for DJT, and all those who still adore him, should be forced to listen to this. Hitler and Joe McCarthy used the same divisive tactics and their supporters and enablers now look back with shame at their stupidity.

3 people found this helpful

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  • J. A. Goold
  • 08-30-21

Funny and pulls no punches

Very entertaining polemic about Trump and all those who enable and excuse his boorish mediocrity for their own cynical ends.
Witty, insightful and at the end; hopeful for the future

3 people found this helpful

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  • Mr A Bowater
  • 12-25-20

Excellent 👌

This book has aged well! it was written in 2017/2018, yet anyone who read this will not have been surprised by anything Trump has done since.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Boko
  • 12-21-20

‘Perfect’

I liked it. Absolutely! There is everything to like. Very well written with an underlining of humour. Thank you Mr. Wilson.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Snow Angel
  • 05-17-22

Fascinating

Brilliant, incisive, heartbreaking. How a great country was brought low and why. highly recommended. Star.

1 person found this helpful

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  • MR M A CAIRNS
  • 11-28-22

Just great, and stands the test of time quite nicely.

4 years since this was published, and Rick Wilson’s analysis still holds up incredibly well.

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  • Kat
  • 10-23-22

a real insight

I have listened to every book on Trump apart from the ones he will profit from and this is up there with the best.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 04-27-22

An entertaining and acerbic take on Trump

I've gone down a rabbit hole of Trump books, and this one was refreshing in a few ways.

Firstly, any pretence of journalistic neutrality is gone. That isn't a critique per se (I have no reason to disbelieve the content - this guy seems to have lived in the thick of it for years). What it does mean is that often the author is utterly vitriolic, which actually adds a bit of spice and humour that many of these Trump books have lacked.

Also interesting is the fact that this one isn't written by a liberal and/or Democrat. From what I can tell this guy is a long time Republican insider, but moreso of the old-school type that existed before Trump turned the party into a freakish circus. The author has heavy criticisms of the Democrat approach littered throughout this, so it's not the classic 'Democrat dumps on Trump' exercise.

As usual, the anecdotes about the inner workings of the Trump Whitehouse are shocking and maddening. This author is angry, and he spills the beans on a lot of the Trump players with abandon. Some good insights here, unvarnished by pretensions of niceties. He is gunning for people he hates, and his stories show he has good reasons for this hatred. So much awful behaviour in these stories.

So - worth a listen, as while it's yet another of the growing 'Trump is a fool' genre, but it has a distinctly different flavour and some really entertaining passages. Recommended.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Marlene L.
  • 09-28-20

Very enlightening

Well written, with a touch of humour in parts that made me smile and very very truthful. A highly recommended read.

1 person found this helpful