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The 2016 GOP Convention is over. Despite the Democrats’ and the media’s herculean efforts to distract Americans with nonsense (Queen was mad that Trump used their song! Trump kissed his Veep! Melania plagiarized a few clichés from Michelle! Donald Trump Jr.’s speechwriter plagiarized a line from himself! And dumbest of all, Laura Ingraham’s wave was really a Nazi salute!), there were no train wrecks, other than Ted Cruz running over himself. Donald Trump’s kids impressed the entire nation. A very convincing case was made to America that Hillary Clinton shouldn’t even be trusted to be president of the Justin Bieber Fan Club. And Trump himself gave a serious, hard-nosed, 76-minute acceptance speech, one of the longest on record – and he didn’t even go off-script.
Trump’s speech was short on memorable rhetoric, but that’s as it should be. He’s not a honey-tongued politician. He’s the blunt, no-nonsense contractor from Queens that you call in to fix all the expensive disasters after you make the mistake of letting a leftist academic whose only talent is for speechmaking take over your house for a few years. Trump wasn’t there to soft-soap us with flowery verbiage and politically correct pussy-footing, he was there to assess the damage, deliver the bad news, and tell us straight what had to be done to fix it. Some commentators described it as a “macho” or “alpha male” speech, but that’s not quite true. It was just a speech by someone who knows a lot of problems have been festering and who wants to get to work fixing them before it’s too late. It was a builder’s speech.
It was easy to tell what the DNC talking points memo must’ve said, since the media write-ups all included the exact same focus group-tested words: Trump’s vision is “dark,” “fear-mongering” and “dystopian” (there’s a word you’ll never hear in a Trump speech!) Why, he thinks there are all these things wrong: the economy is stagnant, terrorists are attacking us at will, other countries are ripping us off, open borders are allowing in not just cheap labor but crime and formerly eradicated diseases. I guess from a corner office at the New York Times or a 20,000-square-foot mansion in Beverly Hills or Silicon Valley, that’s all ludicrous: to those writing the anti-Trump op-eds and celebrity tweets from behind their security walls and armed guards, everything must look just peachy. Hillary Clinton will try to convince us that everything is going so well, we should sign up for four more years of it. But for most Americans, Trump wasn’t fear-mongering, he was being refreshingly honest. And the ultimate message of the speech was upbeat: our problems are bad but fixable if we replace the people causing them, and we can get past the politics of division, unite, and make America great again. What’s so dark about that?
I think Trump’s speech will go a long way toward convincing not only reluctant Republicans but also blacks, Hispanics and working class Democrats who’ve been left twisting in the wind by Obama to consider supporting Trump. That’s why I’m expecting Hillary to run the most vicious negative campaign in history: with her record and public image, what else can she do? Her only hope is to keep convincing the public that Trump is a cartoonish villain scarier than Freddy Kruger and even more racist than Democratic Party founder Andrew Jackson. In other words, even worse than her. Her problem is that the more they see Donald Trump, the more they’ll realize that’s not what he’s really like. And the more they see of Hillary Clinton, the more they’re reminded of what she really is like.