“Friends, delegates and fellow Americans: I humbly and gratefully accept your nomination for the presidency of the United States.” Thus Donald J. Trump greeted the delegates of the Republican National Convention — and his worldwide television audience — Thursday night, at the finale of the four-day political marathon in Cleveland, Ohio. His address, reportedly the longest convention acceptance speech in four decades (for a Republican or Democratic candidate), did not aim at presenting a softer, more “nuanced,” and “presidential” persona, as many analysts had predicted and/or recommended. The message of “The Donald” did not waiver from the core issues of his “Make America Great Again” campaign theme: out-of-control illegal immigration, destructive trade deals, a calamitous foreign policy, an imploding economy, historic unemployment, skyrocketing violent crime, an escalating terrorist threat, and rampant political corruption.
All of these are the result, Trump averred, of a “rigged system,” a dysfunctional and broken system. And, he said: “Nobody knows the system better than me, which is why I alone can fix it.”
Trump opened his speech on a positive note, pointing out that his campaign has brought a flood of both new and old voters into the electoral process. “Who would have believed,” he asked, “that when we started this journey on June 16th of last year we — and I say ‘we’ because we are a team — would have received almost 14 million votes, the most in the history of the Republican Party, and that the Republican Party would get 60 percent more votes than it received four years ago?”
“The Democrats, on the other hand, received almost 20 percent fewer votes than they got four years ago,” Trump noted, and he pledged: “Together, we will lead our party back to the White House, and we will lead our country back to safety, prosperity, and peace. We will be a country of generosity and warmth. But we will also be a country of law and order.”
Spiraling Crime, Broken Borders
“Our Convention occurs at a moment of crisis for our nation,” Trump declared. “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.”
“I have a message for all of you: the crime and violence that today afflicts our nation will soon come to an end. Beginning on January 20th 2017, safety will be restored,” he pledged. “The most basic duty of government is to defend the lives of its own citizens. Any government that fails to do so is a government unworthy to lead.”
Regarding the soaring crime wave that has been building during the Obama/Clinton years, Trump said:
These are the facts: Decades of progress made in bringing down crime are now being reversed by this Administration’s rollback of criminal enforcement.
Homicides last year increased by 17 percent in America’s fifty largest cities. That’s the largest increase in 25 years.
In our nation’s capital, killings have risen by 50 percent. They are up nearly 60 percent in nearby Baltimore.
In the President’s hometown of Chicago, more than 2,000 people have been the victims of shootings this year alone. And almost 4,000 have been killed in the Chicago area since he took office.
The number of police officers killed in the line of duty has risen by almost 50 percent compared to this point last year.
Moreover, he noted, “Nearly 180,000 illegal immigrants with criminal records, ordered deported from our country, are tonight roaming free to threaten peaceful citizens. The number of new illegal immigrant families who have crossed the border so far this year already exceeds the entire total from 2015. They are being released by the tens of thousands into our communities with no regard for the impact on public safety or resources.”
“What about our economy?” Trump asked. “Again, I will tell you the plain facts that have been edited out of your nightly news and your morning newspaper”:
Nearly four in 10 African-American children are living in poverty, while 58 percent of African-American youth are not employed.
Two million more Latinos are in poverty today than when President Obama took his oath of office less than eight years ago.
Another 14 million people have left the workforce entirely.
Household incomes are down more than $4,000 since the year 2000 —16 years ago.
Our trade deficit in goods reached nearly $800 billion last year alone.
The budget is no better. President Obama has almost doubled our national debt to more than 19 trillion dollars, and growing.
Yet, what do we have to show for it? Our roads and bridges are falling apart, our airports are in Third World condition, and forty-three million Americans are on food stamps.
It was in the area of foreign policy that Trump went after his Democratic rival by name.
“America is far less safe — and the world is far less stable — than when Obama made the decision to put Hillary Clinton in charge of America’s foreign policy,” he charged. “Her bad instincts and her bad judgment — something pointed out by Bernie Sanders — are what caused so many of the disasters unfolding today.”
He then proceeded to “review the record”:
In 2009, pre-Hillary, ISIS was not even on the map. Libya was stable. Egypt was peaceful. Iraq was seeing a reduction in violence. Iran was being choked by sanctions. Syria was under control.
After four years of Hillary Clinton, what do we have? ISIS has spread across the region, and the world. Libya is in ruins, and our Ambassador and his staff were left helpless to die at the hands of savage killers.
Egypt was turned over to the radical Muslim brotherhood, forcing the military to retake control.
Iraq is in chaos. Iran is on the path to nuclear weapons. Syria is engulfed in a civil war and a refugee crisis that now threatens the West.
After fifteen years of wars in the Middle East, after trillions of dollars spent and thousands of lives lost, the situation is worse than it has ever been before.
This is the legacy of Hillary Clinton: death, destruction, terrorism and weakness.
“But Hillary Clinton’s legacy does not have to be America’s legacy,” Trump said. “A change in leadership is required to produce a change in outcomes,” he explained, before introducing “my plan of action for America.”
Americanism vs. Globalism
“The most important difference between our plan and that of our opponents, is that our plan will put America First,” Trump promised, echoing a central theme of his campaign. “Americanism, not globalism, will be our credo.”
“My plan,” he said, “will begin with safety at home — which means safe neighborhoods, secure borders, and protection from terrorism. There can be no prosperity without law and order. 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.”
“Big business, elite media and major donors are lining up behind the campaign of my opponent because they know she will keep our rigged system in place,” Trump charged. “They are throwing money at her because they have total control over everything she does. She is their puppet, and they pull the strings.”
Trump’s LGBTQ Political Correctness
Early in his speech, while referring to the crime, riots, and violence that are ravaging so many U.S. cities, Trump said: “We cannot afford to be so politically correct anymore.”
As always, this anti-pc rhetoric was a crowd pleaser. Undoubtedly, however, many of his supporters — both in the arena and in the television audience — were very uncomfortable minutes later when he announced his solidarity with “our LGBTQ community.” He stated:
The damage and devastation that can be inflicted by Islamic radicals has been proven over and over....
Only weeks ago, in Orlando, Florida, 49 wonderful Americans were savagely murdered by an Islamic terrorist. This time, the terrorist targeted our LGBTQ community.
As your President, I will do everything in my power to protect our LGBTQ citizens from the violence and oppression of a hateful foreign ideology.
After receiving a polite applause, Trump ad-libbed to the audience: “As a Republican, it is so nice to hear you cheering.” Although he may be fighting the political correctness establishment on many other issues, this part of his speech indicated he has caved in to the LGBTQ PC Police on this very important issue (or, perhaps, has been sympathetic to this noisy constituency all along).
“My opponent asks her supporters to recite a three-word loyalty pledge,” Trump said. “It reads: ‘I’m With Her’. I choose to recite a different pledge. My pledge reads: ‘I’M WITH YOU — THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.’
I am your voice.
So to every parent who dreams for their child, and every child who dreams for their future, I say these words to you tonight: I’m with you, I will fight for you, and I will win for you.
To all Americans tonight, in all of our cities and in all of our towns, I make this promise:
We Will Make America Strong Again.
We Will Make America Proud Again.
We Will Make America Safe Again.
And We Will Make America Great Again.
God bless You And Good Night.
Photo of Donald Trump: AP Images