That wasn’t an acceptance speech by Donald Trump last night. It was a rejection speech, a rejection of the past 50 years of American history, a rejection of change, diversity, tolerance, a rejection of perceived loss.
“(I) couldn’t have said it better,” as David Duke tweeted afterward, and he’s probably right.
What did we learn from the speech? We learned that the America that Trump sees as he peers down from his gilded New York penthouse is a dark place, a grim place, a place teetering on the chaotic abyss. The statistics may say that the murder rate is at a 50-year low, but to Trump, crime and violence have made our neighborhoods almost unlivable. The numbers may say that illegal immigration is at a 40-year-low, with the total number of illegal immigrants stable or even declining, but to Trump we are being invaded by wave after wave of barbarian hordes, with no one left to guard the gates and with our wives, daughters and children in dire peril.
“Our convention occurs at a moment of crisis for our nation,” he said last night, speaking at the conclusion of a very calm and peaceful convention. “The attacks on our police, and the terrorism in our cities, threaten our very way of life. Any politician who does not grasp this danger is not fit to lead our country.”
It’s as if we are living out the worst moments of a Batman movie, right before Police Commissioner Giuliani lights up the BatSignal and the billionaire industrialist reluctantly dons the BatSuit to come to our rescue.
Bruce Wayne, step aside for Donald Trump, the Faked Crusader:
“I have joined the political arena so that the powerful can no longer beat up on people that cannot defend themselves,” said the man with a long, well-documented history of stiffing workers and small businesses, and then daring them to sue him.
If our economic system is rigged, “I alone can fix it,” he said, minutes after being introduced by champions of the working class such as Peter Thiel (net worth: $2.7 billion) and Tom Barrack (net worth: $1 billion.)
In fact, his promise to take on the predatory economic elite on behalf of the little people was so inspiring and convincing that even Martin Shkreli enlisted in the cause:
Crime? “The crime and violence that today afflicts our nation will soon come to an end. Beginning on January 20th, safety will be restored.”
Jobs? “I am going to bring back our jobs to Ohio and Pennsylvania and New York and Michigan and to all of America – and I am not going to let companies move to other countries, firing their employees along the way, without consequence.”
In fact, there is no end to what he will do for us:
“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 …. We will repeal and replace disastrous Obamacare. You will be able to choose your own doctor again. And we will fix TSA at the airports!”
He will stamp out ISIS and terrorism, and he’ll be “doing it now, doing it quickly…. We’re going to defeat them fast.” He’s going to end crime by immigrants: “It is so sad to even be talking about it because we can fix this problem so quickly.” Excessive regulation? “We will end it very very quickly.” Millions of new jobs? “Believe me, it will happen, and it will happen fast.”
And if you have to ask how so many difficult, complicated things will happen so quickly, the answer is right there in front of you. Trump will accomplish all this and more — very quickly, so quickly that you won’t believe how quickly — through the sheer force of the Trumpian will, through the unchallenged power that you and I everybody else will no doubt cede to him.
Look at that jutting jaw, that piercing gaze, that iron fist, that superhero stance. Why, you can almost see the cape, billowing behind him in the breeze. The Dark Knight rises.