I listened to Trump's speech last night, as much of it as I could stand. Garry Kasparov gets to fill the role of the late Molly Ivins this time around, because things have only gotten worse since 1992:
I’ve heard this sort of speech a lot in the last 15 years and trust me, it doesn’t sound any better in Russian.And because Trump mentioned the evangelicals (but only insofar as they've given him political support), Andrew Sullivan (the source for most of this post, frankly) gives us Marilynne Robinson:
“First, contemporary America is full of fear. And second, fear is not a Christian habit of mind.”Let the people say: AMEN!
To put that in the context of one of the more bizarre things Trump spoke about:
Now he wants a total fusion of politics and religion, by allowing tax exempt churches to be directly involved in political campaigning. I think he sees the evangelical movement rather like Putin sees the Russian Orthodox church.As Sullivan points out, there was no mention in the speech of technology or automation. Where are the jobs that Trump says will return to Ohio and the country? Replaced by robots, for the most part. And coal will return? Gonna be a surprise to the coal companies going bankrupt because nobody wants their product (natural gas is cheaper). That's not regulation, that's market forces.
Andrew has the fact checking on the speech (ISIS came into being in 2014, after Clinton stepped down as SOS in 2013; most of the turmoil on the Middle East was caused by the Arab spring, not by Obama removing troops from Iraq, etc., etc., etc.), but fact checking such a speech is ultimately irrelevant. The interesting thing to me is how lackluster it was. Trump seemed false, artificial; like he was imitating a demagogue instead of being one. Yes, his proposals were entirely fascistic: he is going to renegotiate trade deals (the POTUS doesn't attend those discussions); he is going to fix America's infrastructure (not if Congress won't pay for it, and they won't); he is going to fix the VA (see previous parenthetical), and of course, by the awesome power of the awesome sauce that is the Donald, he's going to solve the problem of violence in America;
Guy's run one too many beauty pageants.
This was a pathetic four day exercise at arousing the base to support The Donald, and I'm not sure Trump didn't put a wet blanket on all that last night, despite his best efforts to sound enthusiastic. It was an overlong speech (I think he beat Clinton's record) and that means it was dull. He didn't reach anybody beyond that arena, and he's certainly not going to appeal to women, blacks, Hispanics, or even people who vaguely understand our Constitutional system with his claims he alone can fix what ails us.
If he continues in that vein, he's going to augur right into the ground. All indications from Cleveland are that he will.