Trump’s speech long in words, short in commitment, says “I alone can fix America”
Donald Trump painted a dire portrait of a lawless, terrorized nation as he accepted the Republican presidential nomination Thursday night, delivering a sweeping indictment of a feckless political and corporate class that he argued was thrusting the United States into a perilous decline.
Declaring that he alone has the leadership strength to secure the homeland and rejuvenate the economy, the billionaire real estate mogul offered himself as a “law and order” candidate and made a direct appeal to blue-collar Americans who have felt left behind in the 21st century.
“The forgotten men and women of our country — people who work hard but no longer have a voice: I am your voice,” Trump said in a long address to fired-up delegates on the closing night of the Republican National Convention.
Rather than pivoting to the political middle with an uplifting address, Trump punctuated the turbulent four-day convention with a heavy speech with simple declarations. And he focused intensively on the alleged dangers posed by immigrants and refugees, showing that on the biggest stage of his campaign he would not shy away from rhetoric that many minority voters find repulsive.
Trump spoke with so much gusto it sounded much of the time as though he were screaming, and by the end his face was notably red and glistening with sweat. The address lasted an extraordinary 76 minutes, with balloons falling in Quicken Loans Arena and fireworks shooting over Lake Erie nearly an hour after scheduled.
The tone of his prepared text was hard-edged — at times severe — and echoed the dark themes of Richard Nixon’s 1968 campaign. Trump is betting that general-election voters feel so beleaguered that they will heed his call for radical change.
Trump described the country as beset by illegal immigrants, some of them killers. The crowd chanted back at him, “Send them home,” and “Build the wall.” And Trump decried an increase in homicides in some cities.
“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. Believe me. Believe me,” he said.
Trump’s relentlessly gloomy tone was a jarring contrast to the sunny introduction by his daughter Ivanka Trump, who portrayed him as a generous, magnanimous business executive who would be “the people’s champion” and “a fighter” who delivers results.
She said her father has been an advocate for women in his company and would do the same as president, saying that he supports equal pay for equal work and would change labor laws to help make quality child care affordable — all priorities of presumed Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.
Donald Trump laid out stark differences between his agenda and that of Clinton. He asserted that his rival is a “puppet” of corporations and elites, and that she would “keep our rigged system in place.” Washington Post