I would have watched Donald Trump’s speech last night if I could have. But I couldn’t. In any case, I knew that I would be able to read the “highlights” from his speech this morning, and I have.
I did watch about two minutes of Ivanka Trump, the Donald’s beautiful and articulate daughter, talk about how “kind” and “compassionate” her father is, echoing the sentiments of the Donald’s other beautiful daughter, Tiffany.
Boy, we must be living in alternate realities, because in the 401 days since the Donald’s June 16, 2015 campaign kickoff – the one where he called Mexicans “rapists” and “criminals” – there has been no evidence of kindness or compassion to the naked eye. All the available evidence has been to the contrary.
The one thing that I have learned about the Donald is that he values loyalty. This can be seen in his defense of Meredith McIver, after she royally screwed up Milania’s speech by including passages lifted from Michelle Obama’s 2008 convention speech. McIver fell on her sword, so to speak, and offered to resign. But the Donald, who loves to say “you’re fired,” wouldn’t have any of it.
Trump also values nepotism, as can be seen by his hiring of all three of his adult children – there will also be jobs for Tiffany and for Barron when they’re old enough – and his children have rewarded him with their loyalty, or so it appears.
Trump as Megaphone for the Disaffected
The theme of Trump’s speech was that the Donald is “our voice” or at least the voice of the “forgotten” Americans. He mostly seems to be the voice of frustrated and resentful older white American men, who’ve been left behind in the “new” economy. An economy that was largely brought to them by the Republican party. Obviously, the Donald is not and never will be my voice.
But this “I am your voice” theme was very clever, and it will resonate in many quarters. I find it fascinating that so many of his supporters love the Donald be because he “speaks the truth.” This is ironic because the Donald is an almost pathological liar. If you look at Politifact or Factcheck or even the New York Times and the Washington Post – which still do credible journalism against the odds – it’s clear that the Donald lies more than any candidate in recent history. Politifact rates dozens of his statements in the “pants on fire” category.
So what do people mean when they say that he “speaks the truth?” I think they mean that he speaks their resentments. The right has of late become obsessed with “political correctness” which deeply offends them, and which seems to somehow restrict their ability to say the racist, sexist and other demeaning things that they have been longing to say out loud. To be fair, political correctness can go too far sometimes, such as trigger warnings in academia. And honestly, I would rather that people like Rep. Steven King of Iowa – who recently opined that “non-white subgroups” hadn’t contributed much to civilization – say these things out loud, so that we can begin a discussion about whether these things are actually true.
Hillary Clinton Needs to Make Us Safe from the Donald
As a number of commentators have pointed out, the Donald’s speech painted a very dark portrait of America. As they have been doing since Monday, the Republican party has been trying to frighten us into believing that we’re all “not safe” in America, when that is objectively not true. The Donald said this to the American people in his convention acceptance speech:
Americans watching this address tonight have seen the recent images of violence in our streets and the chaos in our communities. Many have witnessed this violence personally, some have even been its victims.
I have a message for all of you: the crime and violence that today afflicts our nation will soon come to an end. Beginning on January 20th 2017, safety will be restored.
The most basic duty of government is to defend the lives of its own citizens. Any government that fails to do so is a government unworthy to lead.
It is finally time for a straightforward assessment of the state of our nation.
I will present the facts plainly and honestly. We cannot afford to be so politically correct anymore.
So if you want to hear the corporate spin, the carefully-crafted lies, and the media myths the Democrats are holding their convention next week.
But here, at our convention, there will be no lies. We will honor the American people with the truth, and nothing else.
And then he went out and lied to the American people without compunction. About all kinds of things. You don’t have to believe me. You can check Politifact and Factcheck. He also offered no solutions, as has been his wont since the beginning of the campaign. His pitch that he will fix things is just his exhortation to people, “believe me, believe me.”
For the record, I don’t believe him.
There is a way in which America is becoming less and less safe, and that has everything to do with the prospect of the Donald becoming President.
By now, the fact that the Donald is an extreme bully and remarkably thin skinned should not be news to anyone who has been paying even a little bit of attention. But it was demonstrated again this week when the Donald threatened to sue his former ghost writer – Tony Schwartz, who had collaborated with him on his 1987 memoir, “The Art of the Deal” – because the man had the temerity to say that he didn’t think that the Donald was temperamentally fit to be President. And then the Donald immediately went out to prove him right.
So, while Hillary Clinton is a clearly flawed candidate, she is in the unique position to prevent the one thing that really endangers America: a Donald J. Trump presidency.
 In Monday’s blog post I mentioned 10 of the things that are more likely to kill you than terrorists, including cows, champagne corks and falling coconuts. And that’s just items beginning with the letter “c”.