Well, I am here to say: It is I! I am the person. I have not lived in a cave, although due to an incident I cannot describe thanks to a prolonged ongoing legal battle with Pat Sajak, I have been cryogenically frozen since 1987 and only just woke up. I had been reserving judgment on Donald Trump for the past four years because I had a very large stack of old Readers Digests to get through and I have only just now finished them. Or I was trapped in the ice three winters running with dwindling supplies after my ill-starred decision to continue north in search of the Passage. Actually, it is that I said to myself, “This standard Republican is not getting up from this armchair until he finishes ‘Infinite Jest’!,” which must have been three years ago now. Perhaps I was briefly ensorcelled by trolls? Anyway, it certainly wasn’t the cave thing, I know that!
This is the act of courage I have been waiting for. Frankly, books with names on them make me nervous. People with names can be identified and found wanting. Anonymous is untainted by personality or motive. I am picturing Anonymous as maybe a benevolent ghost who has been trapped in the Oval Office and forced to witness all this. Or maybe Spartacus. Or — Odysseus? Indeed, Anonymous is one of my favorite writers, and I’ve always been struck by his range; he wrote many limericks that I love. I will say I was disappointed by the lack of limericks in this book.
It actually makes me feel more confident, not less, that this person has no name. I know plenty of people with names who work in the Trump administration, and, frankly, I don’t think very much of them. If one of them were to write a book, I would not give it the time of day, which, again, I do not know, because I have been otherwise engaged for the past few decades.
Having said that, that this comes from someone working in the White House particularly compels me. People who wanted Trump to fail might well object to him on principle. But people who wanted him to succeed — them I can trust. People unmoved after Charlottesville for whom the turning point was that Donald Trump did not sufficiently honor John McCain’s legacy. People who stayed when all others had fled, to keep what I now learn is a burning, rat-infested ship at least afloat, if not pointed even roughly in the right direction. The resistance, as it were, from within. Those are people from whom I want to hear the bad news.
And it certainly doesn’t sound like good news! Donald Trump hates it when people take notes? This brought me up short, but I thought: Perhaps he will be able to retain everything that happens in his sharp, steel trap of a mind. But then it turns out, if you keep reading, his mind is not like a steel trap at all. It is like a steel trap only in that if you tried to administer an intelligence test to a steel trap, the trap would not do very well and might injure you in some way.
On top of that, I learned that the president is, in private, a pretty nightmarish boss and a pretty bad sexist. At this stunning news, I called my wife, Solveig, who had waited for me all those years. I read these passages aloud, but somehow she did not seem as shocked as I expected. And when I told her that he even wanted to get rid of judges, that it was so bad that a group of senior officials in the presidency ALMOST RESIGNED (but then decided not to), she just sort of sighed heavily and left the room.
I am glad that someone — or, I guess, No One — is here to tell us these things. I, for one, am stunned.
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