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Donald Trump Returns To Dark, Dystopian Themes In Convention Speech

Trump Convention Speech

All the way back on June 16, 2016 Donald Trump began his campaign for the Presidency by presenting a picture of an America overrun by illegal immigrant rapists, Islamist terrorist, and incompetent leadership that only he could deal with. ‘The American dream,’ he told us, ‘is dead’ and only a Trump Presidency can ‘Make America Great Again.’ As his campaign went on, Trump continued to wallow in that dark, pessimistic view of American politics and in the process managed to find any number of people to blame it on, including immigrants, Muslims, the Chinese and pretty much every other nation on the planet, and his opponents. He scored political victories by engaging in cheap, tawdry, personal attacks against his opponents, many of whom had spent decades in public service actually trying to solve the problems that he was pontificating about from the podium, or over the telephone from Trump Tower as he appeared on an endless number of cable news shows in a campaign that admittedly demonstrated his ability as a media manipulator. In the process of running for President, he appealed to the some of the worst aspects of American politics in a manner not seen since the campaign of George Wallace in 1968 and Pat Buchanan in 1992 via demagoguery that Republicans quickly rose up to denounce even while doing next to nothing to stop the man. Unfortunately, this strategy succeeded far better than anyone watching that June day a year ago could have anticipated and, last night, Donald Trump formally accepted that nomination in a speech that was as dark as the rest of his campaign has been:

CLEVELAND — Donald John Trump accepted the Republican presidential nomination on Thursday night with an unusually vehement appeal to Americans who feel that their country is spiraling out of control and yearn for a leader who will take aggressive, even extreme, actions to protect them.

Mr. Trump, 70, a New York real estate developer and reality television star who leveraged his fame and forceful persona to become the rare political outsider to lead the ticket of a major party, drew exuberant cheers from Republican convention delegates as he strode onto the stage of the Quicken Loans Arena and delivered a speech as fiery as his candidacy.

With dark imagery and an almost angry tone, Mr. Trump portrayed the United States as a diminished and even humiliated nation, and offered himself as an all-powerful savior who could resurrect the country’s standing in the eyes of both enemies and law-abiding Americans.

“Our convention occurs at a moment of crisis for our nation,” an ominous-sounding Mr. Trump said, standing against a backdrop of American flags. “The attacks on our police, and the terrorism in our cities, threaten our very way of life. Any politician who does not grasp this danger is not fit to lead our country.”

Mr. Trump nearly shouted the names of states where police officers had been killed recently, as the crowd erupted in applause, and returned repeatedly to the major theme of the speech: “Law and order,” he said four times, each time drawing out the syllables.

Evoking the tumult of the 1960s and the uncertainty that followed the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Mr. Trump made a sharp departure from the optimistic talk about American possibility that has characterized Republican presidential candidates since Ronald Reagan redefined the party over 30 years ago. In promoting his hard-line views on crime, immigration and hostile nations, Mr. Trump was wagering that voters would embrace his style of populism and his promises of safety if they feel even less secure by Election Day.

But his speech — the longest, at an hour and 15 minutes, since at least 1972 — had relatively little new to offer women, Hispanics, blacks and others who have been turned off by Mr. Trump’s incendiary brand of politics. He did sound like a different sort of Republican at times, though, making no mention of abortion — a core issue for many Republicans — and saying of his support among evangelical voters, “I’m not sure I totally deserve it.”

Mr. Trump also challenged Republican orthodoxy as he promised to end multilateral trade deals and limit American intervention in global crises. He denounced “15 years of wars in the Middle East” — a rebuke of his party’s last president, George W. Bush — and pledged to help union members, coal miners and other low-wage Americans who have historically supported Democrats.

“These are the forgotten men and women of our country,” said Mr. Trump, a billionaire with a mixed record of job creation and layoffs. “People who work hard but no longer have a voice — I am your voice.”

He even vowed “to do everything in my power to protect our L.G.B.T.Q. citizens from the violence and oppression of a hateful foreign ideology.” As the audience applauded, Mr. Trump made a deviation from his prepared text, observing: “I have to say, that as a Republican, it is so nice to hear you cheering for what I just said.”‘

(…)

Mr. Trump dwelled at length on illegal immigrants and lawless Americans, saying they are as dangerous for the nation’s security as the Islamic State and Syrian refugees. In doing so, Trump advisers said, he sought to win over undecided voters who are sickened by the recent violence against police officers and worried about safety yet are unsure if Mr. Trump has the temperament and abilities to be commander in chief.

“I have a message to every last person threatening the peace on our streets and the safety of our police: When I take the oath of office next year, I will restore law and order to our country.”

While nomination speeches are traditionally optimistic and personal, full of hope and revelations that cast candidates in the best possible light for voters, Mr. Trump sounded like a wartime president, using the word “threat” seven times and promising to “defeat the barbarians of ISIS.” He also recited homicide rates in American cities and the thousands of illegal immigrants with criminal records, promising to control violence at home and abroad.

“It is time to show the whole world that America is back — bigger, and better and stronger than ever before,” Mr. Trump said.

It was a speech, in other words, that was vintage Trump and not substantively different than what we’ve seen from him since his campaign started thirteen months ago. In that respect, though, it was quite different from acceptance speeches we’ve seen from Republicans and Democrats in the recent past. There was no shining city on a hill, for example, and no ‘thousand points of light’ guiding the nation toward a future of prosperity and peace. Given the headlines that we see every day, and especially in the past several months involving everything from terrorism at home and abroad, mass shootings seemingly unrelated to any rational cause, police being shot for doing their jobs, and police shooting people first and asking questions later, it’s perhaps easy to understand why a candidate like Trump would focus on the gloom and doom, especially since it’s often the case that voters tend to toss rational thinking aside once they start believing that threats lurk around every corner. Trump’s speech last night, for example, reads as if it was part of the “law and order” theme that Richard Nixon successfully rode to victory in 1968. The difference is that, while there was a real crime problem in America in the 1960s and 70s, that simply isn’t the reality today. With the exception of a handful of cities like Chicago and Baltimore, violent crime remains at generational lows notwithstanding the fact that there has arguably been a slight uptick in some categories over the past year. Robbery, assault, and a whole host of other violent crimes are far less likely today than they were thirty or forty years ago, and yet to listen to someone like Donald Trump we are facing an epidemic of crime that only his presence in the White House can solve. That’s both a lie, and an appeal to arrogant self-promotion on Trump’s part that, while consistent with the image he has presented on the campaign trail, should raise concerns among any sane person watching him speak last night who cares about the future of the country.

Peter Suderman at Reason sums up last night’s speech perfectly:

Donald Trump’s speech accepting the Republican nomination was easily the most overt display of authoritarian fear-mongering I can remember seeing in American politics. The entire speech was dark and dystopian, painting America as a dismal, dangerous place beset by violent outsiders. In response to the nation’s problems, Trump had only one solution: Donald Trump, the strongman who would taecke America back, by force if necessary.

Trump framed the speech by painting America as a nation under siege from urban crime, terrorism, and immigrants. He talked of rising homicide levels in some cities. He warned darkly of terrorist and immigrants, practically conflating them with urban violence, and told stories of Americans killed by those who had entered the country illegally. The simplest and more straightforward way to interpret Trump’s speech was as a warning that outsiders are coming to America to kill you and your family.

But portraying America in such a dark light let Trump cast himself as the nation’s dark hero, a kind of billionaire-businessman fixer, unbound by rules or expectations of decorum—President Batman, the only one with the guts and the will to fight for the people.

(…)

The hour and fifteen minute long speech was a tour de force of grandiose narcissism, a petulant demand to be placed in the most powerful office in the most powerful nation in the world. Thanks to the Republican party, which nominated him and gave him his platform last night, he is alarmingly close to achieving this goal. Trump is the threat, but the Republican party as an institution deserves nearly as much scorn as Trump for making this happen. The GOP has proved a willing vessel for his ambitions, a ready audience for his dark and troubling argument.

The essence of that argument is that America is unsafe and decline, and that as a result it should be cut off from the world, plunged into fear, and managed by a simple-minded strongman who ego and bluster know no limits. This was the argument that Trump made last night. It is his pitch for the presidency. And it is a lie—a fictitious, nightmarish vision that a power-hungry narcissist invented for the purpose of acquiring power for himself by being elected president. That’s the all-too-possible nightmare that should terrify us most.

At least temporarily, I expect that Trump will get a bump in the polls from this weeks convention notwithstanding the fact that it has not gone nearly as smoothly as the Democratic Convention is likely to proceed next week. Largely, this will be a reflection of the natural enthusiasm that conventions create among supporters and voters leaning toward a particular candidates. At the same time, it’s unlikely that this bump will last very long. In no small part, this is because the Democratic National Convention is following right on the heels of the Republican gathering, meaning that there will be very little time for polls to capture the impact that the convention may have had on the race on its own versus the impact of the two conventions back to back is likely to be. The question going forward, though, will be whether the American people will really respond positively to a campaign built on emphasizing how bad things are in the United States and which seeks to blame that condition on minorities, immigrants, and certain religious groups while at the same time advocating policy ideas without substance and without explaining exactly how he would accomplish them. Trump supporters will remind us that their candidate succeeded with the this strategy in beating sixteen other candidates for the Republican nomination, but the General Election is a very different race and candidates who base their campaigns on telling Americans how bad they have it and playing on their fears of the other have, happily, not succeeded in the past. Hopefully that will remain true in 2016 as well, because the idea of a man like Donald Trump with political power is, to put it mildly, a troublesome one.

Donald Trump is the perfect reflection of the irrational populism, xenophobia, and fear-based politics the GOP has been practicing for the better part of the past 20 years. Until now, though, they’ve generally nominated Presidential candidates who at least tried to emphasize the positive rather than appealing to the worst in people. Whether it succeeds will be up to the American voter.

In any case, if you missed the speech and want to see for yourself, you can read the transcript, or watch the video:

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Mark Ivey says:

    Dark Dystopian Fear 2016!

    Yeah . . . . .

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  2. Scott says:

    I wonder how long Trump can weave this false illusion of our country. And I wonder who is buying it. Who are these delegates anyway? Are they hidden away in gated communities afraid to go out?

    I live in San Antonio in the well-off northern suburbs. I work on the south side which is rough and poor. I never feel unsafe. I have broken down in some rough neighborhoods. There is always someone to help. I have traveled all over the city and still I feel safe. Yet, I have neighbors who would not venture out, who look in fear at the other parts of the city. They are Trump supporters. I just don’t understand them.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 37 Thumb down 2

  3. Andre Kenji says:

    “Law and Order” originated with George Wallace, not Richard Nixon. The first one to rode it to the polls with this theme was Wallace, not Nixon.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  4. Slugger says:

    Some interesting themes last night including opportunities for women and the LBTGQ community. What do the fundamentalistic faction think of that?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  5. JKB says:

    His opponent is Hillary Clinton. She’s widely hated — ruthless and bossy.

    Even my clever East Coast friends, who are petrified of Trump, say they will need to take painkillers before going out to vote for her.

    It’s an oxy and chardonnay kind of election.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 20

  6. pylon says:

    I don’t mind politicians who want to respect law. I fear politicians who say they want to impose order.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 30 Thumb down 1

  7. MBunge says:

    And would it somehow be better if the GOP was trying to exploit the same themes under the table while presenting a happy face to the public? And that’s not even getting into all the paradoxes, like the threat of radical Islamic terrorism being so serious it justifies killing people in foreign lands but heaven forbid it spur us to change our immigration policies.

    Mike

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 3

  8. al-Alameda says:

    That speech was what – 70 minutes long? The cadence of his speech was rhythmically strange – he started off in a generally normal tone and he soon abandoned that and moved to his comfort zone – modulating his yelling tone of voice.

    That was the most unpleasant and depressing convention acceptance speech I’ve seen and listened to … ever. Nothing else comes close.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 24 Thumb down 4

  9. Kylopod says:

    At least temporarily, I expect that Trump will get a bump in the polls from this weeks convention notwithstanding the fact that it has not gone nearly as smoothly as the Democratic Convention is likely to proceed next week.

    Keep in mind that there are two fairly recent conventions that were not followed by any bump in the polls: the 2004 Democratic Convention and the 2012 GOP Convention. Interestingly, in both cases the candidate (John Kerry in ’04, Mitt Romney in ’12) went on to receive a substantial bump after a well-received performance in the first debate.

    My guess is that the conventions have become so boring and stage-crafted, especially as the Internet and social media have been replacing TV in the average American’s focus, that they’ve been losing people’s attention. The question is how the Trump convention will throw these normal forces into disarray, as it clearly was more interesting than usual, albeit in a freak-show sort of way that isn’t necessarily going to attract voters.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  10. Andre Kenji says:

    The United States NEVER had a Presidential Campaign with two candidates with such high name recognition. Both Trump and Hillary are extremely well known(That Daily Show segment asking people on the streets of Uganda about Trump was telling), that change a lot of things about polling, convention bumps and things like that.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  11. Pete S says:

    After that speech I expect Trump to show up to his rallies in a Batman costume. I am half serious. He was describing Gotham City last night, not any realistic image of the United States.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 23 Thumb down 1

  12. Senyordave says:

    I can’t see how anyone not already in the Trump camp would be attracted to Trump based on his speech. It paints a picture of America as a very unpleasant place to live. It also says vote for me because I alone will fix all problems (of course, you only get the solutions once I become president).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  13. Andrew says:

    Trump in 10 seconds :

    Are you white? Are you an ‘Merican? Are you are a white ‘Murican who just wishes those pesky colored people would just go back to learning their place in the United States?
    Well, we have the perfect orange candidate for you!

    Are you tired of being uneducated, ignorant, or just plain tired of not getting what you want?

    Vote Trump!

    He will make sure you, the special entitled snowflake that you are, will never have to worry about the bad, mean, coloreds bothering you again!

    The American Dream is dead, but you had to be asleep to believe it.
    Go back to sleep! We will tell you what you want to hear, and everything will be okay!

    You will never have to take responsibility for your actions, you can just blame it on everyone else. After all it is not your fault, for anything!

    Go back to sleep!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 3

  14. grumpy realist says:

    Standard strongman tactics and appeals: elect me, and I will solve all your problems. Never mind that I’m not saying how I’m going to do it, or give you a plan, but just follow me and everything will magically get better.

    We got a lot of dumb Americans out there, methinks. Look at Trump’s history. He’s great at selling the sizzle. Delivering on the steak? Well, that’s another problem….

    (Anyone who wants to line his planes in marble is not, shall we say, connected to reality. At some point Mama Nature/Reality bats, and she always hits into the bleachers.)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 1

  15. Scott says:

    Regardless of what Trump said, from the delivery itself I get the sense that there was barely concealed rage underneath it all. And I think the rage comes from not getting the respect that Trump thinks he deserves. I got those vibes from the two adult children also. Hence the raging about the elites, who probably didn’t let him in the club. Now Trump will make us all respect him. He is one psychologically damaged soul.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  16. SKI says:

    And he follows it up today with spending his time talking about Ted Cruz and Rafael Cruz and the Kennedy Assassination Because Ted Cruz is waging a really tough General Election campaign against Trump & Pence. Oh, he also praised the National Enquirewr and said they should win a Pulitzer.

    Olberman’s Sanity Test thing from yesterday may have actually been on to something.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  17. Facebones says:

    @grumpy realist:

    Look at Trump’s history. He’s great at selling the sizzle. Delivering on the steak? Well, that’s another problem….

    The other thing he’s great at is making other people pay for his mistakes while taking the money. I’d rather we didn’t repeat that with the US Treasury.

    I always thought W was callow and disinterested as a president. Trump isn’t even pretending. He just wants the perks of power while he tweets out statements that he’l leave to his underlings to implement. And this was the runaway choice of Republicans.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  18. gVOR08 says:

    but the Republican party as an institution deserves nearly as much more scorn as Trump for making this happen.

    Fixed that for Reason.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  19. grumpy realist says:

    @Facebones: Oh, I’m already planning to liquidate most of my equities if it looks like Trump will win. Then will buy at the bottom of the stock market crash that he will undoubtedly generate and make out like a bandit.

    That is, of course, if the economy recovers from the fun and games inflicted on it by The Donald.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  20. wr says:

    So it looks like Trump is trying to run this race in the DC cinematic universe while Hillary is firmly in the MCU. Both are valid approaches, I guess, but the DC style is much harder to pull off, since it requires an audience that actually wants to feel bad for most of the story, whereas even when a Marvel movie isn’t the best, it provides little bits of happiness and pleasure along the way.

    Only Christopher Nolan has had the talent and vision to make the current DC style work, and even he whiffed with the last, endless Batman. Whereas the Marvel style turns every director it touches into a star.

    Can Trump pull this off? Maybe… but he doesn’t seem like Christopher Nolan to me…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2

  21. Loviatar says:

    As I’ve said previously,

    look to the supporters
    look to the enablers
    look to the enabler’s enablers

    I don’t want to ever hear again that Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell or any other Republican is reasonable. What is reasonable about nominating Donald Trump to a position where he is one of only two choices to be president?

    Also, remember this was a choice, the excuse makers and back peddlers will try to frame this as a fluke and a mistake, however this fluke and mistake has been in the plans since 1964.

    2016 Republican slogan: Party before Country

    h/t TMV

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 4

  22. Facebones says:

    @Loviatar: Yep. They don’t get to pretend that Trump is an anomaly. His policies are not much different than what the “sensible moderates” wanted. No abortion, muslims are scary. anti-immigrant, tax cuts for the rich. Trump just shouted them out instead of using code words and got called refreshing and honest by the crazy base.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 2

  23. Tillman says:

    It reads worse than it sounds.

    We should be thankful our brand of pseudo-fascist is buffoonery hoodwinking cultural dead-enders. Heaven forbid someone charismatic tries this.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  24. Jen says:

    Clinton had better knock it out of the park next week.

    Nov. 8 cannot come soon enough.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  25. C. Clavin says:

    It’s a sad comment on the educational system in this country that anyone…anyone…is listening to this man.
    Nothing he said is true. Nothing. Save for the fact that he has earned the Republican nomination.
    He spent over an hour discussing a world, and a country, that just does not exist.
    That the dupes are buying it is sad.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 3

  26. Gavrilo says:

    I definitely want to hear more criticism about Trump’s “dark, dystopian” speech from the people who claim that unless we enact a global wealth redistribution scheme, the human race will be extinct in 100 years.

    *I’m not a Trump supporter. I just think it’s hilarious that the left has been mongering the ultimate fear over the past two decades, but have their panties in a twist because Trump talked about crime last night.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 23

  27. C. Clavin says:

    @Gavrilo:

    people who claim that unless we enact a global wealth redistribution scheme, the human race will be extinct in 100 years.

    That statement is about as fact-based as Trumps speech.
    If you have to make shit up to make your argument…you just don’t have much of an argument.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 42 Thumb down 5

  28. Pete S says:

    @SKI: Today’s speech almost makes that Olbermann test unnecessary (almost).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  29. KM says:

    @JKB:

    She’s widely hated — ruthless and bossy.

    I know it’s not your quote but I HATE this – if she was a man, she’d be described as assertive, overconfident or arrogant. You rarely hear men tagged as “bossy” and that’s because they are expected to act like they’re in charge. “Bossy” implies someone is unfairly exercising authority they don’t have/deserve – that they are not the real boss. Can’t be seen telling guys what to do in a less then conciliatory tone without some “I think”‘s or “Maybe it’s just me”‘s tossed in there to soften some egos. Like it or not, Hillary has legitimate legal authority and experience that entitles her to speak with a commanding tone, not a halting one.

    Trump is Bossy AF as the last 3 days have shown the world. Why’s Hillary the one getting that label?

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 39 Thumb down 6

  30. steve s says:

    The GOP’s main problem right now is that their nominee isn’t giving enough cover to hide their supporters.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  31. KM says:

    @Scott:

    Regardless of what Trump said, from the delivery itself I get the sense that there was barely concealed rage underneath it all. And I think the rage comes from not getting the respect that Trump thinks he deserves. I got those vibes from the two adult children also. Hence the raging about the elites, who probably didn’t let him in the club. Now Trump will make us all respect him.

    Trump is the the dictionary definition of nouveau riche despite daddy’s money paving the way for him. He’s tasteless, tactless, boorish. He thinks money substitutes for manners and decorum. Hell, he can’t even act like a typical disgraceful scion and found new ways to embarrass himself. He may be fun to party with for a night but he’s not welcome the next morning for brunch.

    He’s never going to be American Royalty no matter how hard he tries. He’s the guy you might party with for a few nights but don’t invite back to your house or look in the eyes the next day. His kids are pissed because if Daddy’s not King, they’re not Prince/Princess. I mean, listening to them you can almost hear someone in the background measuring drapes for their White House bedroom; nevermind their full-grown adults with their own families, a Trump Presidency would see more WH residents then ever before. It’s what they deserve after all – they’re Trumps so suck it elites!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 4

  32. Paul Hooson says:

    It was such a cynical event of pandering by claiming to be all things to all people, while masking a dangerous and irresponsible new homegrown breed of ultra-nationalism.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  33. Kari Q says:

    All day I’ve been wondering if Trump’s speech was a success for his own party. I knew I couldn’t judge because that way of thought is too foreign to me. Reading the comments here has convinced me even Republicans thought it was a failure.

    Not one of the usual Republican commenters has come by to crow its success. JKB and gavrilo are subdued. Everyone else is missing. Yep, even Republicans think it was bad.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2

  34. Steve V says:

    @Kari Q: I agree with Paul Hooson in his comment above you that he tried to be all things to all people — including slipping a some liberal-sounding stuff that might have turned off conservatives. When he started railing about needing to rebuild failing infrastructure and going on about how he was supposedly there for the little guy, it reminded me of something Bill Clinton would have said. I think conservatives aren’t sure what to make of it right now. There was a fair amount of activist-government talk in that speech.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  35. al-Alameda says:

    @Gavrilo:

    the people who claim that unless we enact a global wealth redistribution scheme, the human race will be extinct in 100 years

    So, who are the people who claim that?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  36. Lit3Bolt says:

    The one good thing about Trump’s rise is it helps identify all the Hydra agents in our midst….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

  37. Liberal Capitalist says:

    You know, I said I hit peak-trump a while ago… so from that point on, nothing really shocks or surprises me anymore.

    But for a party that has had a running meme that “Hey dems, Obama is your messiah”… yesterdays speech really turned the tables.

    Donald Trump has positioned himself as the only solution and cure.

    All hail the Messiah that will lead us out of this hellhole !!!

    … man.

    So much talk about YESTERDAY’s speech… nothing about today’s Victory Lap

    He was on CNN, at a podium, with Pence (doing his best Ed McMahon imitation) in the background.

    It was Petty, it was Vindictive, and if he could have poured the blood of the defeated republicans on the stage right then and there, he would have without a moment’s hesitation. It was vile and boastful, and not a moment lost on being gracious or building unity.

    The GOP has truly gotten what they deserve. Now they can choke on it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  38. Guarneri says:

    X

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  39. Jenos Idanian says:

    Doug, I see you got the memo for your Trump report here.

    And I eagerly await your analysis of the Democratic platform and their convention.

    How goes the “reluctantly have to support Hillary” post, anyway? Considering how long you’ve been working on it, it should be quite the piece de resistance.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 10

  40. Jenos Idanian says:

    But you wanna go dark, though? How about this speech?

    Tonight, more Americans are out of work and more are working harder for less. More of you have lost your homes and even more are watching your home values plummet. More of you have cars you can’t afford to drive, credit card bills you can’t afford to pay, and tuition that’s beyond your reach.

    These challenges are not all of government’s making. But the failure to respond is a direct result of a broken politics in Washington and the failed policies of George W. Bush.

    America, we are better than these last eight years. We are a better country than this.

    This country is more decent than one where a woman in Ohio, on the brink of retirement, finds herself one illness away from disaster after a lifetime of hard work.

    This country is more generous than one where a man in Indiana has to pack up the equipment he’s worked on for twenty years and watch it shipped off to China, and then chokes up as he explains how he felt like a failure when he went home to tell his family the news.

    We are more compassionate than a government that lets veterans sleep on our streets and families slide into poverty; that sits on its hands while a major American city drowns before our eyes.

    Tonight, I say to the American people, to Democrats and Republicans and Independents across this great land – enough! This moment – this election – is our chance to keep, in the 21st century, the American promise alive.

    That’s some seriously dark… stuff right there.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 12

  41. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @Kari Q: Even Jenos’ comment was subdued and off whatever passes for “game” in Idanianopolis. Wasn’t even worth the click to turn it off.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  42. Jenos Idanian says:

    @Kari Q: If you are actually interested in an analysis of Trump’s speech that wasn’t pre-written, try Scott Adams’ take.

    I ignored most of the convention (I voted for Cruz in the primary), but I did catch a few excerpts of Trump’s speech, and there were a few things that I liked. His gutting of Hillary’s “I’m With Her” slogan with “I’m with you;” his pointing out how Muslim fundamentalists really, really, really hate gays; his pitch to the evangelicals with the “I’m not worthy of you” angle.

    I was also impressed with what I saw from his children. They gave great speeches.

    I’m still toying with my “conspiracy theory” with Trump and Cruz. I was impressed that Cruz found a way to honorably abandon his pledge to support Trump, and I thought he backhandedly endorsed him with the “vote your conscience” line — “Vote for candidates up and down the ticket who you trust to defend our freedom and to be faithful to the Constitution.” When you consider Hillary’s opposition to large parts of the 1st Amendment and 2nd Amendment, that’s a pretty good message to not vote for her.

    I keep wondering (OK, hoping) that the Trump-Cruz feud is just a facade, and Trump plans to put Cruz on the Supreme Court or appoint him to some other high position. With all the public bad blood between them, it’s a win-win — Trump shows he isn’t interested in yes-men, and Cruz looks like he stood on principle and won anyway.

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  43. Jenos Idanian says:

    BTW, with all the open-carry people around the convention, what happened to all the wild shootouts that were guaranteed to happen?

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  44. Hal_10000 says:

    As it happens, I am in New York City this week. The contrast between where this city was when I first visited in 1985 and where it is now could not be starker. It’s clean and safe. I see families walking around and people of different races playing Pokemon Go together. Every second puts the lie to everything Donald Trump says. It’s not that the country doesn’t have problems; it ain’t all lower Manhattan. It’s that Trump is presenting people with a hellscape that simply doesn’t exist.

    When I first visited Baltimore, some guy was getting the crap beat out of him two blocks from Hopkins. For all it’s problems now, it’s not that bad. I lived in Atlanta when it was a high-crime drainage ditch. Now it’s not. I recently visited Pittsburgh. Trump gave a speech about how Pittsburgh was beaten down by steel leaving and never recovered. It was total garbage. Pittsburgh has rebuilt with big tech and medical sectors. It’s one of the best cities to live in if you’re a young person. So what the hell is he on about?

    I think, ironically, it was Scott Baio who said it most honestly when he said, “we’re going to take America back!” America is chaning. It’s more diverse, it’s more dynamic, it’s more open (in most ways). And for some Americans, that’s a bit terrifying. It’s chaotic, it’s disorderly, it doesn’t resemble what they grew up with (which was largely an illusion). So when Trump tells them that the whole country is going down the tubes, they’re open to it.

    My hope — and maybe it’s a fool’s hope — is that this is the last dying gasp of a blacklash that I first saw at the 2004 RNC. Cracks are appearing already — Thiel was cheered and even Newt acknowledge racism in policing. I just hope the facade crumbles before we do something truly stupid and put this hamster in the White House.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0

  45. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @Jenos Idanian: Umm…IIRC the Secret Service overruled the state law and didn’t permit open carry in the Quicken Loans Arena citing candidate security issues. As to why people weren’t shooting people coming out of the arena? Maybe the city was overtaken in a wave of sanity. Don’t know, wasn’t there. But maybe the mayor and police will burn down a block or two of Philly next week and brighten you back up.

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  46. Hal_10000 says:

    Trump is Bossy AF as the last 3 days have shown the world. Why’s Hillary the one getting that label?

    THIS. Trump’s just bossy; he’s a dictator. Ya’ll know I don’t care for Clinton, but at least she will let other people talk.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  47. Jenos Idanian says:

    @Just ‘nutha ig’rant cracker: Don’t know, wasn’t there. But maybe the mayor and police will burn down a block or two of Philly next week and brighten you back up.

    There were a LOT of anti-Trump protests in Cleveland. For some odd reason, I don’t think there will be anywhere near as many right-wing protesters in Philly. It will be pretty much exclusively left-wingers of various pedigrees.

    So yeah, I think there’s a far better chance of violence there.

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  48. Jenos Idanian says:

    BTW, the shooter in Munich is now believed to be an immigrant from Iran. This, like the Nice truck driver, the Orlando night club shooter, the San Bernardino couple, appears to be another case where we may never know the true motive of the killer…

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  49. Tony W says:

    @Jenos Idanian: TLDR: Be afraid….be very afraid.

    FFS, grow a set dude. Republicans are so afraid of everything – geez.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  50. An Interested Party says:

    How about this speech?

    Certainly it’s more realistic to talk about people struggling to pay bills, worried about medical problems bankrupting them (like you in the past, no doubt), and jobs going overseas than the ridiculous fantasies the pompous pumpkin peddled last night…

    …his pointing out how Muslim fundamentalists really, really, really hate gays…

    Only slightly more than Republican homophobes…yes, some Muslim fundamentalists want to kill gay people, but the Republican Platform calls for torturing the gay out of young people…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  51. Kari Q says:

    @pylon:

    I don’t mind politicians who want to respect law. I fear politicians who say they want to impose order.

    This is eloquent and satisfying. Do you mind if I borrow it?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  52. anjin-san says:

    @Hal_10000:

    As it happens, I am in New York City this week.

    I had the same experience in LA last week, even when I wandered into less than great neighborhoods. I have the same experience in SF on a regular basis. I even – gasp – spend time in Oakland, and yet I live.

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  53. anjin-san says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    Abject cowardice is not an American value…

    If there is a time and place in history where anyone was safer than the average American is today, I would like to know about it.

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  54. Scott O says:

    Planet Trump is a scary place. Glad I don’t live there.

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  55. Jenos Idanian says:

    @anjin-san: If there is a time and place in history where anyone was safer than the average American is today, I would like to know about it.

    Haven’t you been listening to people around here? Gay people are horribly persecuted by Christians everywhere through polite declines of business opportunities. Millions of transgendered people have been hospitalized for bladder infections because they can’t go into the restroom of their choice. Our streets are littered with the bodies of innocent young black men senselessly gunned down by police. Every woman attending college has a 2-in-1 chance of being raped any given weekend. Big Oil companies have bets about who can slaughter the most glaciers. Random foreign-looking people (meaning, “non-white”) are being loaded into cattle cars and taken to the Mexican border, where they’re stuffed into the baskets of trebuchets and hurled across the Rio Grande. And the NRA is handing out loaded assault weapons to toddlers.

    Did I miss anything?

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  56. Jenos Idanian says:

    @Hal_10000: As it happens, I am in New York City this week. The contrast between where this city was when I first visited in 1985 and where it is now could not be starker. It’s clean and safe.

    Glad to hear it, but watch your step.

    Oh, and Rudy Giuliani says “you’re welcome.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

  57. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @Jenos Idanian: I’m glad you have something to look forward to for next week.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  58. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    Our streets are littered with the bodies of innocent young black men senselessly gunned down by police.

    Well, that one was at least close

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  59. anjin-san says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    Did I miss anything?

    Well, you missed an opportunity to say something clever, intelligent, meaningful, non-adolescent…

    Did I miss anything?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  60. MBunge says:

    @anjin-san:

    I’m not one to stick up for Jenos but it is fairly sharp to point out that “the sky is falling” rhetoric is one of the few things even Trump wouldn’t claim to have invented.

    Mike

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  61. michael reynolds says:

    @Jenos Idanian: @MBunge:

    Jesus H. Christ.

    It’s not about “sky is falling” rhetoric, it’s sky is falling rhetoric followed by “and it’s their fault.” Mexicans, Muslims, gays, blacks who don’t enjoy being shot, women who don’t want to be subordinated to the state. It’s not about calling for something better, it’s about scapegoating minorities, identifying people who should be attacked. That is a fundamental difference. It is not aspirational, it is fascist. It’s juden raus.

    Seriously, we just stopped teaching history in school at some point, right? Is that it?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  62. Jenos Idanian says:

    @michael reynolds: Oh, I fully understand that, because I’m white, male, heterosexual, and somewhat conservative (by the local standards, I’m only a hair away from Pat Buchanan, but that’s only because the commentariat here skews so far left), it’s pretty much all my fault.

    People who have no legal right to be here, but are here anyway because they wanna be here commit violent crimes? My fault, because I support immigration laws and actually enforcing them.

    Fundamentalist Muslims commit mass murder, and it’s my fault because I draw a connection between their actions and their beliefs and the realities of their faith.

    Police kill the smallest fraction of young black men who are killed every year, and it’s my fault because I say that there are times when it’s necessary for the police to kill people — and “demographics” and “statistics” don’t play a role in that decision.

    This is where I drop the sarcasm and explain why I reject all that, but last night I found another person had already done so, in fine form, and I don’t feel like trying to top his words. So instead I’ll quote him:

    ‘White privilege’ is a political tactic manufactured and promulgated to create conflict and increase violence. Politics is always about directing rage, the true culprit is not ‘white privilege’ but rather those who are the masters of the system, who are white. So ‘White privilege’ is meant to cast a too wide net, its target should be narrowed to the ‘1% privilege’, some of whom are white. Y’all dig? Please read this 1970’s radical treatise ‘Prairie Fire‘ by Bill Ayers and the Weather Underground. It is the architecture of much of the deliberate civil discord we are experiencing now.

    That’s the same Bill Ayers who mentored our current president. And that book is dedicated as follows:

    “To Harriet Tubman and John Brown
    To All Who Continue to Fight
    and
    To All Political Prisoners in the U.S.”

    They include a list of individuals. One of them is Sirhan Sirhan. (For those who might lack education, he was the assassin of Robert F. Kennedy.)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  63. Tony W says:

    @Jenos Idanian: Do you get a deal on bulk purchases of tin foil? Never pay retail man.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  64. wr says:

    @Jenos Idanian: Shorter Jenos: “I am absolutely desperate for attention today. Please please please pay attention to meeeeeeee!!!!!!”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  65. Anjin-san says:

    @wr: dude, you are just jealous because you know Jenos is probably winging his way to Bora Bora with a couple of hot blondes…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  66. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @Jenos Idanian: Click

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  67. Jenos Idanian says:

    @Tony W: I get it straight from the factory. Less chance of contamination. If you want an example of what happens when you get the bad stuff, I give you Cliffy and wr.

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  68. An Interested Party says:

    People who have no legal right to be here, but are here anyway because they wanna be here commit violent crimes? My fault, because I support immigration laws and actually enforcing them.

    Actually it is your fault when you try to paint illegal immigrants as being here to commit violent crimes when most of them are here simply to make a better life for themselves and their families…

    Fundamentalist Muslims commit mass murder, and it’s my fault because I draw a connection between their actions and their beliefs and the realities of their faith.

    Actually it is your fault when you imply that Muslims as a whole are fanatical murderers when it is only a very small warped minority that are doing these things…

    Police kill the smallest fraction of young black men who are killed every year, and it’s my fault because I say that there are times when it’s necessary for the police to kill people — and “demographics” and “statistics” don’t play a role in that decision.

    Actually it is your fault when you deny that racism and fear are at play when some cops seem to shoot first and ask questions later when it comes to some black men…

    That’s the same Bill Ayers who mentored our current president.

    Sweetie, that didn’t work for Sarah Palin before and that isn’t working for you now…no one believes that President Obama is some evil leftist…well, except for fools like you, that is…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  69. Jenos Idanian says:

    @An Interested Party: Oh, cupcake… for once, couldn’t you respond to what I say, and not what you wish I say?

    Actually it is your fault when you try to paint illegal immigrants as being here to commit violent crimes when most of them are here simply to make a better life for themselves and their families…

    I didn’t paint them that way. But it’s a fact that for illegal aliens, since their very presence is a crime, most everything they do after that is also illegal. And every violent crime committed by an illegal alien is a crime that would not have happened if their “original sin” of being here illegally had not occurred.

    Actually it is your fault when you imply that Muslims as a whole are fanatical murderers when it is only a very small warped minority that are doing these things…

    I didn’t imply it, you inferred it. But as such a small minority, how do they keep pulling all these fanatical murders if they didn’t have the tacit consent of the majority? A lot of them are afraid (justifiably so) if the fundamentalist Muslims, a lot of them don’t care as long as they don’t bother them, and a lot are quietly supportive of the fundamentalists.

    weetie, that didn’t work for Sarah Palin before and that isn’t working for you now…no one believes that President Obama is some evil leftist…well, except for fools like you, that is…

    Obama’s long ties with Ayers are indisputable. Ayers’ despicable nature is equally indisputable. But if you’re going to play the “Trump is a racist because he didn’t reject David Duke fast enough that one time” guilt-by-association game, then you can goddamned expect to get held to the same standards you want to impose on others.

    Duke is scum, but I don’t recall him ever being accused of trying to kill anyone.

    If you’re gonna make up these standards, couldn’t you at least PRETEND that you are trying to live by them yourself?

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  70. An Interested Party says:

    But it’s a fact that for illegal aliens, since their very presence is a crime…

    Oh please…if we want to get technical, you, and me, and most other people, probably commit several crimes every week…

    But as such a small minority, how do they keep pulling all these fanatical murders if they didn’t have the tacit consent of the majority?

    Oh, so all white, male, heterosexual criminals have your tacit consent to commit their crimes…

    If you’re gonna make up these standards, couldn’t you at least PRETEND that you are trying to live by them yourself?

    Follow your own advice…I never wrote anything about David Duke…

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  71. Jenos Idanian says:

    @An Interested Party: Oh please…if we want to get technical, you, and me, and most other people, probably commit several crimes every week…

    And if I were to get caught, I wouldn’t whine and say that I had some inherent human right to speed/litter/loiter.

    Sing it, Sammy.

    You wanna give your “oh, please” to the family of Kate Steinle? And these aren’t any big deals?

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  72. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    I didn’t imply it, you inferred it.

    As a general rule, people do not infer what is not implied–it’s part of the reason that imply/infer is a common language error, they are the two sides of one coin.

    Beyond that, if you have trouble with people “misinferring” your words, you should probably 1) be more careful about saying exactly what you want to say and/or 2) stop saying such outrageously stupid things.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  73. An Interested Party says:

    And these aren’t any big deals?

    Of course serious crimes are big deals…but to insinuate that most illegal immigrants commit serious crimes is the same thing as saying that most cops are racists who would shoot black males before doing anything else…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  74. Tyrell says:

    @Andre Kenji: look at this: “Americans are sick and tired of all the crime” Lyndon Johnson.
    President Obama came out and talked about how nice things really are, and for most people that is true. But he needs to take a walk in his own town, Chicago. Last weekend: 17 dead, 60 shot. This in a city with the strict gun laws. You don’t hear all this on the main news networks. I have not heard anything about BLM going to Chicago to protest the gang violence there.
    What about Chicago, Mr. President ? He needs to speak about this every week until there is a weekend with no shooting deaths in Chicago. That should be the challenge.

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  75. Andrew says:

    Mother of Chris Stevens, Ambassador Killed in Benghazi, Tells GOP: Stop Using Son’s Death

    “As Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens’s mother, I am writing to object to any mention of his name and death in Benghazi, Libya, by Donald Trump’s campaign and the Republican Party,” Stevens’ mother, Mary Commanday, said in a short letter published in The New York Times online Saturday.

    “I know for certain that Chris would not have wanted his name or memory used in that connection. I hope that there will be an immediate and permanent stop to this opportunistic and cynical use by the campaign,” she said in the letter.

    To “use Chris’s death as a political point,” Anne Stevens added, “is not appropriate.” She said it would be more useful if Congress increased security resources for State Department facilities around the world, particularly in North Africa and the Middle East.

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  76. wr says:

    @Jenos Idanian: “But as such a small minority, how do they keep pulling all these fanatical murders if they didn’t have the tacit consent of the majority?”

    By your steel-trap logic, all blacks tacitly consent to the gang murders in Chicago, all Italian-Americans tactily consented to the mob killings of Capone and the rest, all Irish-Americans were in favor of IRA bloodshed.

    This is called bigotry, if you’d like to learn today’s word.

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