Friday, July 22, 2016

Big Speech With Big Promises And A Big Threat

We can "fact-check" Donald Trump's acceptance speech all we want, and it's a critical task, fortunately accomplished by the likes of NBC News, New York Times, USA Today,  NPR, Washington Post, Politifact, Politics USA, Voice of America, Chicago Tribune, and Time.

But that really wasn't what Thursday night's acceptance speech was about, nor what the convention was about. It little to do with conservativsm, moderation, or centrism, or any specific policy proposal. It wasn't primarily conservative or moderate or concerned with any specific policy proposal. There was not even much populism, although the candidate did condemn the NAFTA in two separate paragraphs without explaining what is wrong with the pact, how it could be improved, or even what the letters in "NAFTA" represent.

But there were two references to humiliation, in which Donald Grump stated

Now let us consider the state of affairs abroad. Not only have our citizens endured domestic disaster, but they have lived through one international humiliation after another. One after another.

We all remember the images of our sailors being forced to their knees by their Iranian captors at gunpoint. This was just prior to the signing of the Iran deal, which gave back to Iran $150 billion and gave us absolutely nothing. It will go down in history as one of the worst deals ever negotiated.

Another humiliation came when President Obama drew a red line in Syria and the whole world knew it meant absolutely nothing.

The wing man to humiliation is the art of the big, sweeping promise. Donald Trump won't merely reduce crime because

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. Beginning on January 20th 2017, safety will be restored.... When I take the oath of office next year, I will restore law and order to our country.

"There can be no prosperity without law and order" remarked the ghost of Richard Nixon Thursday night, and "I am the law and order candidate."

He will not merely improve the economy because "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."  Additionally, "I have proposed the largest tax reduction of any candidate who has run for president this year, Democrat or Republican."

ISIS won't be merely turned back or even defeated. Rather, "we are going to defeat the barbarians of ISIS. And we are going to defeat them bad." Moreover, "peace will be restored by enforcing the rules for the millions who overstay their visas, our laws will finally receive the respect they deserve."

His public works program will not add tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of jobs but "in turn, will create millions of more jobs." National defense will not be merely strengthened but instead "we will completely rebuild our depleted military." Care of veterans will not be merely improved but "we will take care of our great veterans like they have never been taken care of before."

And that's not even including The Wall, his great, big, beautiful wall, which will never be built once his conservative advisors remind him that lots of immigrants will work hard for very little money without being given a path to citizenship.

Ultimately, the task of the Democratic campaign will be to remind voters that this is not the country pictured by Donald Grump, a country overrun by lazy Mexicans and Muslim terrorists, in which police must cower in fear of criminals in the District of Columbia, Baltimore, and Chicago.

It is not a country, Democrats must emphasize, in which people are taxed more than anywhere else in the world, half the country goes to bed hungry, and few people are working because of a third-world public education system.

And it is not a nation in which the military is decimated, as it was in Germany after World War I, nor in which the national debt is spiraling out of control as it did there between the two world wars.  This is not Germany, and it is not circa 1930.

Most of all, we must not resent multiple nations and anyone not sufficiently American nor consider every failure a "humiliation." Otherwise, we go down a long, deep, and dark tunnel which does not lead to anything good.

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