Are you scared yet?

Trump acceptance speech
Donald J Trump delivers his acceptance speech while reminding us of his name

| If you're not scared yet, you weren't paying attention. The Party of Trump (POT) served up four days of visceral angst, ending with an 80-minute screed leading to the claim by its nominee, Donald J Trump, that "I alone" can fix the myriad plagues that beset us.

And there was no end of plagues and threats. To hear the speakers at the convention,  thousands and thousands of illegal immigrants are "roaming free" to slaughter innocents and then retreat to "sanctuary cities." A mother, clearly deranged by grief, gripped the arena with the accusation that she blames Hillary Clinton "personally for the death of my son," who had the misfortune to be killed in  the Benghazi attacks in Libya; she should have been in therapy, not exploited at the convention and for the viewing audience to see. An unhinged Rudy Giuliani screamed and pounded his fists on the podium about "Islamic extremist terrorism" that is coming to kill us all; but never fear, says Giuliani, "You know who you are, and we are coming to get you." We should note that "extremist terrorism" is redundant: terrorism is by its very nature extremist. This is all just part of the right-wing word police insisting that proper patriots must call terrorism by magic words "radical Islamic terrorism" — Giuliani just couldn't get the details right.

Rudy Giuliani having apoplexy at the RNC
Rudy Giuliani in the throes of terrorism-induced apoplexy, a parody of Edvard Munch's The Scream

And there was no end of attacks on Hillary Clinton. To hear the speakers at the convention, she is single-handedly responsible for every plague and threat not otherwise accounted for by illegal immigrants and terrorists. But make no mistake, she is responsible for illegal immigrants and terrorists, too. "Lock her up!" became the mantra of the convention, encouraged by Chris Christie's witch trial. If anyone needed a reminder, that is why we hold trials in a courtroom, not in the public square with verdicts dictated by mob rule.

But on to Trump's "acceptance speech." I put acceptance speech in quotes because although he did start with a sentence to "humbly and gratefully accept your nomination for the presidency of the United States," that was only the opening gambit for a replay of all his greatest hits from the campaign trail. He delivered it as an 80-minute yell, red-faced and perspiring. (Note to Hillary: Save for next time Trump complains about your voice.) For those in depair over the this dark and frightening world, Trump offered … himself.

As usual, there was no hint of how all these marvelous things would be accomplished. The stream-of-consciousness paradise he painted near the end of his speech is the handful candy offered to nearby children by the man in a trenchcoat hiding behind a tree:

Middle-income Americans and businesses will experience profound relief, and taxes will be greatly simplified for everyone. America is one of the highest-taxed nations in the world. Reducing taxes will cause new companies and new jobs to come roaring back into our country. Then we are going to deal with the issue of regulation, one of the greatest job-killers of them all. Excessive regulation is costing our country as much as $2 trillion a year, and we will end it. We are going to lift the restrictions on the production of American energy. This will produce more than $20 trillion in job-creating economic activity over the next four decades. My opponent, on the other hand, wants to put the great miners and steel workers of our country out of work — that will never happen when I am president. With these new economic policies, trillions of dollars will start flowing into our country. This new wealth will improve the quality of life for all Americans. We will build the roads, highways, bridges, tunnels, airports, and the railways of tomorrow. This, in turn, will create millions more jobs. We will rescue kids from failing schools by helping their parents send them to a safe school of their choice. My opponent would rather protect bureaucrats than serve American children. We will repeal and replace disastrous Obamacare. You will be able to choose your own doctor again. And we will fix T.S.A. at the airports! We’re going to work with all of our students who are drowning in debt to take the pressure off these young people just starting out their adult lives. We will completely rebuild our depleted military, and the countries that we are protecting, at a massive cost to us, will be asked to pay their fair share. We will take care of our great veterans like they have never been taken care of before. My just-released Ten Point Plan has received tremendous veteran support. We will guarantee those who serve this country will be able to visit the doctor or hospital of their choice. My opponent dismissed the V.A. scandal — one more sign of how out of touch she really is. We are going to ask every department head in government to provide a list of wasteful spending projects that we can eliminate in my first 100 days. The politicians have talked about it, I’m going to do it. We are also going to appoint justices to the United States Supreme Court who will uphold our laws and our Constitution. The replacement of our beloved Justice Scalia will be a person of similar views, principles, and judicial philosophy. This will be one of the most important issues decided by this election. My opponent wants to essentially abolish the Second Amendment. I, on the other hand, received the early and strong endorsement of the National Rifle Association and will protect the right of all Americans to keep their families safe. At this moment, I would like to thank the evangelical and religious community in general who have been so good to me and so supportive. You have much to contribute to our politics, yet our laws prevent you from speaking your minds from your own pulpits. An amendment, pushed by Lyndon Johnson, many years ago, threatens religious institutions with a loss of their tax-exempt status if they openly advocate their political views. I am going to work very hard to repeal that language and protect free speech for all Americans. We can accomplish these great things, and so much more — all we need to do is start believing in ourselves and in our country again. It is time to show the whole world that America is back — bigger, and better and stronger than ever before.

This is voodoo economics writ large. It illustrates how little Trump knows and understands about our Constitutional system of government. This is not someone interviewing for the job of president. This is someone interviewing for dictator. No wonder he likes Putin so much, and, supposedly, vice-versa. They are two peas in a pod.

This the classic tactic of demagogues and strongmen — Scare people to death and then assert that you, the demagogue, are the only person who can save them from danger.  There has never been a benevolent dictator. Trump would not be one either. 

As Tiny Tim said in Dickens' Christmas Carol, "God bless us, every one!"

Last updated on Jul 22, 2016

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