Be afraid. Be very afraid. That was the main message coming out of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland this week.
After watching Donald Trump’s acceptance speech Thursday night, I am afraid, and you should be, too.
Before a cheering crowd of delegates, Trump spoke loudly and often angrily for an hour and 15 minutes, painting a wildly exaggerated picture of a nation in crisis and decline that he, the great leader, would quickly fix.
“I have a message for all of you: the crime and violence that today afflicts our nation will soon — and I mean very soon — come to an end,” said the New York real estate developer and reality TV star who has no political or government experience. Trump went on to say he would solve every other problem, too, from terrorism to job-creation.
How will Trump do it? He didn’t say. He never does. He just makes big promises and says we should trust him. From its very beginning, the Trump campaign has been nothing more than a cult of personality.
“I will present the facts plainly and honestly,” said Trump, who is such a prolific liar that media fact-checkers can hardly keep up with him.
“We cannot afford to be so politically correct anymore,” said the bully of a million insults, whose definition of “politically correct” is what most people call civil and decent behavior.
Trump offered a scathing assessment of Democrat Hillary Clinton, who was the driving force of a chaotic, mismanaged convention mostly focused on Hillary hate.
For many speakers, such as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and House Speaker Paul Ryan, blasting Clinton was a convenient way to avoid having to say anything good about Trump.
The most complimentary thing McConnell and Ryan could manage was to claim Trump would rubber stamp the GOP legislative agenda. They might be surprised.
“On the economy, I will outline reforms to add millions of new jobs and trillions in new wealth that can be used to rebuild America,” Trump promised. “A number of these reforms that I will outline tonight will be opposed by some of our nation’s most powerful special interests.”
That should be interesting.
I wonder how many of those cheering GOP delegates noticed that, in the longest convention speech since 1972, Trump referred to himself as a Republican only once. And he never used the word conservative.