I have issued roughly 2,000 tweets since The Donald began speaking. (I’m exaggerating a little, but just a little.) And I could crank out maybe 2,000 bullet points here. But I will make just one point, uncharacteristically.
I was wrong (speaking of uncharacteristic). I suspected that Trump would read a broadly Reaganite speech that he really didn’t believe in. Instead, he gave a flaming Donald Trump speech. It was his true self, the true Trump. He let it all hang out.
Which I admire in a candidate, no matter who he (or she) is.
Trump’s speech was straight populism. Straight nationalism. Straight Buchananism. America First, protectionism, no “globalism,” the whole nine yards.
Halfway through, I thought (and tweeted), “You know what this acceptance speech needs? A Republican response.”
Several were around to give it — such as Mike Pence or Paul Ryan. But they’re all Trumpites now, to adapt an old phrase.
The speech was shouted all the way through, which I think was unhelpful to Trump. If people worry that you’re a dictator, or would-be dictator — better not to shout your speeches, even if they are in arenas.
Will his speech persuade others? Those not already for him? I doubt it, but can’t say for sure. The American electorate is an interesting beast. One’s assumptions can go out the window.
Trump went straight for the grievances and fears of people. His main message was, “You’re gettin’ screwed. The elites have turned their backs on you. I’m gonna screw ’em back and bring you deliverance.”
It is an age-old message. And a powerful one.
Trump even expressed sympathy for the socialist leader Bernie Sanders — who was denied success in a “rigged” system!
I said “just one point,” but will make some extraneous ones.
In reference to Hillary, the crowd chanted, “Lock her up!” Trump said something like, “Well, let’s defeat her in November.” I thought that was classy. I mean that. It was mildly rebukeful.
Also, Trump was great when he said (something like), “The system is rotten, and nobody knows the system better than me, buh-lieve me.” He meant that he had been a participant in it for a long time.
There was one Trump line I was especially impressed by. He mentioned all the support he had received from religious people — and then admitted that maybe he didn’t deserve it.
But how about this? He said that gay and lesbian people should not be murdered en masse by terrorists. The audience applauded. Then Trump patted them on the head, saying, in effect, “Wow. You Republicans actually believe that gays and lesbians should not be murdered. I congratulate you.”
This was incredibly insulting. Yet Trump Republicans have proven themselves way beyond insult.
Trump said he would defeat the Jihad, and fast. Real fast. Politicians always over-promise. But we are in a twilight struggle, which Trump would perhaps comprehend, if he were elected.
Anyway, I am starting a laundry list, and I said I wouldn’t. Main point, main “takeaway”: Trump is running as Trump and nothing else. At least he ain’t fakin’ it. I believe that Trump believes the speech he gave.
P.S. Ivanka! Damn. That was really good. (The presentation. The content was essentially Pelosian.)