NEW YORK – A caveman named Donald who drains a swamp made of money and influence is the main character of best-selling author Eric Mextaxas' new book.
Donald Drains the Swamp is based on the true story of, you guessed it, President Donald Trump.
It's a mashup of political humor, serious lessons about liberty and the good things Metaxas sees happening in America under this president.
"This presidency, there's something about it. He has a folk hero quality. It's like an American folk hero – who is this guy?" he asks during an interview with CBN News at his radio studio in New York City the day his book launched.
With its "Fred Flintstone" looking characters and big illustrations some may mistake it for a children's book.
"When I wrote this book originally I was really thinking of a humor book for adults. A humor book about Donald the Caveman, he drains the swamp and there's a lot of political humor in here that's specifically for adults – kids aren't going to get it but if you do it just right you do it in a way that doesn't exclude kids you do it in a way that's sweet and innocent. This book is not nasty, it's not mean it's meant to be light-hearted and fun," he says.
He's right. The book includes lots of humor for adults in the political know.
"The George-o-saurus, that's just a joke. We had no idea that there's a Hungarian billionaire, Satan worshiper named George Soros so make of it what you will," he said to chuckles from a crowd gathered in a private room of a New York City restaurant the day before the launch.
"There's also a bluebird that flits through the book and as you know - birds like to tweet. So make of it what you will, why is it following Donald around? You know, you can figure that out," he tells CBN News.
There's also a turtle in the swamp that looks an awful lot like Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).
"Well, you know, to be really fair and this is not a knock on turtles," Metaxas says, "but all turtles somehow end up looking like the Senate Majority Leader. It's not their fault, it's not his fault. It's just a quirk of nature."
Why a Caveman?
So why did he portray the president as a caveman?
"Sometimes we think he's a little bit of a caveman, this president, but he's our caveman. He's working for us. That's the key, he's working for us," he says.
The caveman represents the effective simplicity of a leader driven by his gut.
"The caveman is not someone who is self-conscience. He just does what he has to do, you know, he clubs the animal, he eats it. There's something funny about that that this president is so motivated by his gut, his instincts that it is almost funny. He's the antithesis of Obama. Obama was paralyzed by overthinking things. It was kind of a Hamlet-like paralysis. He was unable to do anything and you thought is he even in the White House, is Daddy home? What is going on? Do we even have a president? This president you sort of feel just the opposite," Metaxas says.
The eclectic author is on a mission to make Americans think. Along with his best-selling books, he hosts a lecture series in the city called "Socrates in the City" where he and his guests tackle big issues like God, science, and culture.
Christians Have a Duty
He supports the President, but he understands why some voters, particularly Christians, have to hold their noses when it comes to Trump's tactics.
"Oh, listen, you have to understand. Voting for Trump is not necessarily a vote for Trump. It's a vote for the people he's going to affect," he says with conviction.
"God holds us accountable. He doesn't say well if you don't like this or you don't like the way he combs his hair don't vote for him. If you don't vote for the person you think is going to do the best job they may not be perfect but the other person's gonna get in and I think that Christians sometimes we feel like well, I'm going to be really holy and I'm not gonna get my hands dirty. I think God calls us to get our hands dirty," he continues.
"We're living in such divided times we need to laugh. We need to be able to celebrate the good things that are happening so that's why I wrote the book," he explains.
And if you like the book, Donald the Caveman will be taking more adventures.
Look for Donald Builds the Wall, even Donald Goes to Space in the future.
For now, Metaxas hopes many copies of Donald Drains the Swamp end up under Christmas trees to help Americans better understand the substance beneath this president's rhetoric.
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