Thursday, July 21, 2016
Speaker: Donald Trump, Republican Presidential Nominee For over an hour Thursday night, newly-minted GOP nominee Donald Trump shouted at the Quicken Loans Arena crowd. While some say they were put off by all the shouting, I must say I was impressed at Trump’s ability to maintain such a high level of intensity for so long. After it was over, the talking heads set about trashing his speech. It was much too dark, they said. One GOP operative even went so far as to say he didn’t realize we were living in Gotham. His comment highlights better than I ever could two pivotal aspects of this primary season. First, these truly are dark days in America. When a state loses major economic benefits such as a Paypal processing facility or the NBA All-Star Game just because it wants guys out of girls’ bathrooms and dressing rooms, it is a dark day. When bakers face bankruptcy-inducing fines for refusing to condone, even participate, in unions that they consider to be against their convictions in the worst way, it is a dark day. When police officers are being maliciously and intently gunned down and our president points to their need to “acknowledge there is a problem [with them!],” it is a dark day. And when potential terrorists can migrate to this country at will despite news of attack after attack all across Europe, it is a dark day. In these days, a speech like Trump’s resonated with so many Americans because it addressed exactly the darkness that confronts us day in and day out. (This is probably a good time to say that I have never been a Trump fan. I even created a “Stop Trump-O-Meter” in hopes that he would never win the nomination. That said, he has gone a long way toward winning me over since his sophomoric and boorish performances during the primary campaign. I’m not yet a guaranteed Trump voter, but I’m definitely not “Never Trump” anymore.) I believe Trump’s speech will help him to solidify his support within the party and attract support from independents and disinterested Democrats as well. I’m sure that it will once again confound the GOP establishment represented by the GOP operative and Gotham resident I quoted earlier. That leads me to the second important reveal from the operative’s comment. The GOP establishment continues to be so out of touch with its constituency. Trump’s message of dark days should have resonated with Gotham guy, too. But it didn’t. And the reason it didn’t is very telling. To the establishment, the system isn’t broken. It’s working very well, thank you. Moreover, their quasi-conservative sentiments fade away when faced with the societal decay in our midst. Losing a bit of conscience is a worthwhile sacrifice to hold onto their positions and power as the arbiters of public life. However, change is afoot. This primary election a lot people have stood up and said, “NO MORE!” to these above-the-fray stalwarts in their Washington ivory towers. In November, I hope a lot more people will join that groundswell of grassroots objection and send Donald Trump to the White House. One thing is for sure – even if Donald Trump falls far short of what I desire for the office of the president, he is light-years better than his Democratic opponent. Hillary Clinton is cut from the same establishment cloth, but with a heavily liberal world-view and a complete disregard for the rule of law – where it applies to her and her allies. Were she to become the next President of the United States, these dark days would become so much darker still.