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Full Trump speech: Strong, conservative and impossible not to like
"Americanism, not globalism, will be our credo."
This is what you call a firebrand speech.
Trump's theme is that America has become weaker, more dangerous and less prosperous under the policies of Obama and Clinton - and he hammers home the point again and again. He cites crime statistics. Economic statistics. Incidents abroad. If you don't like Trump, you can try to sit there and shake your head. But you know perfectly well that everything he's saying is factual.
But you can't make things better just by railing against the things that are wrong. You have to explain how you'll fix it. That starts at around the 19-minute mark, and he kicks it off by declaring, "Americanism, not globalism, will be our credo."
It's a long speech, well over an hour. Kick back:
One of my favorite declarations was this one: "Nobody knows the system better than me, which is why I alone can fix it."
It takes me back to the early days of the primary campaign when Trump was getting understandably maligned for having contributed to Democrat campaigns. His answer? Basically, the system requires you to buy influence, so he did. You can hate that answer because he's admitting he did something quite apart from what we like to see. But Trump's point was that he understood how corrupt the system was as a businessman, and he mastered the things he needed to do in order to succeed in the midst of it. That's not the same thing as liking it. And as president he would have a different task, and he would know how to do it.
The left is of course on the rampage about Trump's speech being filled with "hate," but you can only hear hate if you listen to the speech through the magical lefty translator that imagines "code words" and "dog whistles" and so forth. Law and order simply means we enforce the laws and protect people. If the left wants to hear "oppress minorities," that's their problem. ISIS are savages. That's the truth. If the left wants to hear "Islamophobia," it's because its pre-programmed to think in that way.
By the way, how rousing were the cheers when Trump promised to protect LGBTQ people from "a hateful foreign ideology"? Pretty rousing, and Trump noted it. As he should. Many Republicans, myself included, are unwilling to agree with or support their lifestyle choices. In no way do we want them harmed, and I'm glad we nominated a man for president who is willing to take seriously the need to protect them and everyone else.
I don't agree with everything Trump said. I believe in free trade, and while I think deals can be made better, I do not want to see a march toward protectionism. And while I agree that "nation-building" can quickly turn into a quagmire, I believe to this day that Bush and Cheney were correct in their belief that freedom and prosperity would have lessened the influence of radical Islam had it taken hold successfully in the Middle East. I also think the failure of this to happen had much to do with the American political class and media sabotaging the effort.
But as a practical matter, that's neither here nor there because we're not going back in that direction no matter who the next president is.
I couldn't help but note how boldly Trump once again declares that we need to suspend immigration from countries compromised by terrorism until we can implement "radical vetting procedures." That's because, when he first said this in March, it was treated as such a beyond-the-pale idea that liberal newspapers were running front-page editorials denouncing it. Since then: Orlando. Nice. Batanclan. It's getting harder for the political class and their media servants to pretend Trump's thinking is radical and hateful. As radical Islam rampages on in the massacre of innocents, it simply sounds absurd when these people pretend nothing should be done about immigration from these countries.
The recurring theme of lawlessness, and Trump's determination to stop it, may be the most stark line of demarcation between the two parties. When Democrats hear that, they think racism, which is funny because what that tells you is that they think of black people as criminals who are most put at risk by the enforcement of laws. When Trump says it, he's talking about black and white people alike being protected from criminals.
Trump spends a lot of time on trade before he finally gets to taxes, energy, regulation and health care, but when he gets there, he's on point emphasizing the need to simplify the tax code, slash regulations and remove the barriers to domestic energy development. And of course, repealing and replacing ObamaCare.
By the way, don't underestimate the political appeal of his promise to "fix TSA at the airport, which is a total disaster." Anyone who flies much knows that is no small issue.
It was a really good speech, and the presence of Pence on the ticket gives me hope that a Trump Administration - especially if the GOP can hang onto Congress - can actually do a lot of this.
There is no doubt in my mind that most Americans, if they're paying attention to the issues, would rather have the things Trump wants to do than the insanity Hillary will propose next week. If that's their focus and not the media-fueled attacks on Trump personally, then he wins. And I defy any conservative to listen to this speech and tell me, on substance, what you don't like about it. Sure, you can disagree on a point here and there, but those conservative activists who still insist he is a secret big-government leftist sound pretty silly this morning.
Trump wasn't my first choice for the nomination either. I wanted a governor with a successful track record of implementing conservative policies who could show strong results. But that's history. Trump won, and the agenda he's presenting - if he can pull it off - will make this nation much stronger, safer and more prosperous. And he did an excellent job of presenting that last night.