Donald J. Trump did it again.
For the second time in a week, he calmly delivered a serious, solidly conservative speech that vaporized the claims of the Never Trump crowd that he is a liberal Democrat in drag.
Two Mondays ago — before the Detroit Economic Club — Trump proposed tax simplification, across-the-board cuts in personal and business tax rates, wholesale regulatory relief, and domestic-energy liberation.
Last Monday — at Ohio’s Youngstown State University — he unveiled a comprehensive plan to “halt the spread of Radical Islam . . . an ideology of death that must be extinguished.”
Trump opened with a scathing recap of what brought America and the world to this wretched crossroads:
“The rise of ISIS is the direct result of policy decisions made by President Obama and Secretary Clinton,” Trump said. “In 2014, ISIS was operating in some seven nations. Today they are fully operational in 18 countries with aspiring branches in six more, for a total of 24 — and many believe it is even more than that.” He added: “With one episode of bad judgment after another, Hillary Clinton’s policies launched ISIS onto the world.”
Trump detailed the results of Obama-Clinton’s national-security malpractice: a blood-soaked death march of militant-Islamic onslaughts in the U.S. and overseas. Just the eleven assaults since November 2009 that Trump cited murdered 349 people and wounded 1,411 others. These incidents killed 86 individuals and injured 379 persons within America’s borders.
“The common thread linking the major Islamic terrorist attacks that have recently occurred on our soil — 9/11, the Ft. Hood shooting, the Boston bombing, the San Bernardino attack, the Orlando attack — is that they have involved immigrants or the children of immigrants,” Trump said. He invoked this chilling datum: “A review by the U.S. Senate Immigration Subcommittee has identified 380 foreign-born individuals charged with terrorism or terrorism-related offenses between 9/11 and 2014, and many more since then.”
In response to this clear and present danger, Trump forcefully advocated several proposals that should hearten his conservative critics.
‐ Through what he calls “extreme vetting,” Trump would bar from the U.S.A. “all members or sympathizers of terrorist groups.” He continued, “We must also screen out any who have hostile attitudes towards our country or its principles — or who believe that sharia law should supplant American law.”
‐ Those who wish to enter America must pass a tolerance litmus test not unlike previous requirements that kept international Communists outside the U.S. during the Cold War.
“Those who do not believe in our Constitution, or who support bigotry and hatred, will not be admitted for immigration into the country,” Trump said. “Only those who we expect to flourish in our country — and to embrace a tolerant American society — should be issued immigrant visas.”
If Hillary Clinton and the Democrats object to any word of that statement, they should stand up and explain why.
‐ Trump called for a Commission on Radical Islam that would “include reformist voices in the Muslim community” and “explain to the American public the core convictions and beliefs of Radical Islam.” This panel also would “develop new protocols for local police officers, federal investigators, and immigration screeners,” among other duties.
‐ “We will also keep open Guantanamo Bay, and place a renewed emphasis on human intelligence,” Trump declared, hinting at reinvigorated interrogations there. “Foreign combatants will be tried in military commissions.”
‐ Trump closed with a stirring plea for assimilation and reverence for the American Way.
“We have to promote the exceptional virtues of our own way of life — and expect that newcomers to our society do the same,” Trump said. “Pride in our institutions, our history, and our values should be taught by parents and teachers, and impressed upon all who join our society.”
“Assimilation is not an act of hostility, but an expression of compassion,” the Republican standard bearer continued. “Renewing this spirit of Americanism will help heal the divisions in our country. It will do so by emphasizing what we have in common — not what pulls us apart.”
#share#Never Trumpniks can dismiss Trump’s speech by saying that he doesn’t really mean any of this, he cannot be trusted, he’s too impolite to occupy the White House, etc. Regardless of such naysaying, Trump’s detractors on the right must admit that Hillary Clinton could not even fake her way through this speech, much less sincerely embrace most of its hard-hitting contents.
In fact, goaded by Trump this spring to call America’s chief enemy by name, Clinton declared on June 13, “Whether you call it radical jihadism or radical Islamism, I’m happy to say either.” She then was happy to abandon that language as if it were one of her 30,000 erased “personal” e-mails.
Clinton could not deliver two sentences of Trump’s speech without choking on the words.
The time is now for the Donald to present himself as President Trump.
Trump’s address is a badly needed, clean break with Obama-Clinton’s apology tours, Leading from Behind, and emancipating Guantanamo detainees (including 15 on Monday night!) — never mind that at least 30 percent of them have returned to jihad.
If conservative Never Trumpniks want to see the reforms in Trump’s speech enacted — lest ISIS and other radical Islamic terrorists continue to murder Americans and other “infidels” — two things must happen:
First, Trump needs to stay focused, padlock his Twitter account, and deliver additional well-crafted, thoughtful, idea-filled policy speeches like this one and last week’s economic announcement. The teleprompter should be Trump’s new best friend; it will help him adhere to his message and mercifully aid voters who hear Trump start a sentence and simply want him to finish it.
On several occasions during this campaign, the normally stream-of-consciousness Trump has buckled down and looked and sounded presidential. He can do this. Now that the zany, 17-candidate primaries are in the history books, it is time for the Donald to present himself as President Trump.
#related#Second, Never Trumpniks need to wake up from their sweet dreams of President Evan McMullin crushing ISIS from inside the White House Situation Room. Ain’t gonna happen.
Donald J. Trump or Hillary Rodham Clinton will become America’s next commander-in-chief. Either a President Trump will use his Youngstown speech as a blueprint to dismantle militant Islam, or a President Clinton will slice its pages into scratch paper.
Like it or not, this is the immutable, binary choice that America faces. Never Trumpniks should think very long and very hard about which of these two diametrically opposed strategies is likelier to keep them and their loved ones from being killed.