Donald Trump’s acceptance speech that closed the Republican National Convention on Thursday night was one of the most bizarre and least tethered to reality speeches I’ve ever seen. Internally incoherent, full of cognitively empty statements and laughably ridiculous lines, it was a tour de force of stupid. Herewith, some examples:
Our Convention occurs at a moment of crisis for our nation. 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. Americans watching this address tonight have seen the recent images of violence in our streets and the chaos in our communities. Many have witnessed this violence personally, some have even been its victims.
I have a message for all of you: the crime and violence that today afflicts our nation will soon — and I mean very soon — come to an end. Beginning on January 20th, 2017, safety will be restored.
Yes, my friends, the moment Donald Trump takes office all violence will stop! As for a “moment of crisis,” crime is at an all-time low and has been dropping steadily for 25 years now. That includes violence against police officers, which hit record low levels in 2015. This is classic demagoguery, pointing to a few recent images on television that have people scared and pretending that it represents a greater reality. It doesn’t. Americans have never been safer from violent crime than they are today. But you don’t win elections admitting that, so they have to lie.
I will present the facts plainly and honestly.
I hope no one was drinking anything when he said that. Avoiding a classic spittake would have been impossible. If Donald Trump presented the facts about anything honestly, it would be for the very first time.
On the economy, I will outline reforms to add millions of new jobs and trillions in new wealth that can be used to rebuild America. A number of these reforms that I will outline tonight will be opposed by some of our nation’s most powerful special interests.
Now remember, the economic and tax plan that he has on his website is nothing more than the old Republican bromide about lowering taxes, especially corporate taxes, unleashing massive economic growth. The nation’s most powerful special interests — rich people and big corporations — are the ones who want exactly that plan because it boosts their profits. What it does not do, however, is boost the economy. The Congressional Research Service looked back more than 60 years and concluded that there is zero evidence of such an effect. Indeed, our highest growth in GDP were during years with relatively high marginal tax rates. So this notion that the nation’s powerful moneyed interests oppose his plan would be a giant lie.
What his tax plan does do, however, is dramatically lower federal tax revenue and explode the debt. Multiple analyses of his tax plan say that it would add around $1 trillion per year to the deficit, or about $10 trillion in debt over the next decade. His plan would do the exact opposite of what he claims it would do and benefit exactly the people he falsely claims would oppose it. Not to mention save his own children billions of dollars in estate tax when he dies.
I have no patience for injustice, no tolerance for government incompetence, no sympathy for leaders who fail their citizens. When innocent people suffer, because our political system lacks the will, or the courage, or the basic decency to enforce our laws – or worse still, has sold out to some corporate lobbyist for cash – I am not able to look the other way, and I won’t look the other way.
Yeah, those terrible people selling out to some corporate lobbyist. You mean like you, Mr. Trump? Do you recall this?
“I was a businessman. I give to everybody. When they call, I give. And you know what? When I need something from them, two years later, three years later, I call them, and they are there for me.”
Yeah, you refuse to look the other way while politicians are bought off. But you were more than willing to buy them off. What happened to that “no patience for injustice” and “no sympathy for leaders” who are bought off then? Did you magically discover these deep principles you claim to have when you decided to run for president? How lofty and magnanimous of you.
Nobody knows the system better than me, which is why I alone can fix it. I have seen firsthand how the system is rigged against our citizens, just like it was rigged against Bernie Sanders – he never had a chance. But his supporters will join our movement, because we will fix his biggest single issue: trade deals that strip our country of our jobs and strip us of our wealth as a country. Millions of Democrats will join our movement, because we are going to fix the system so it works justly for each and every American. In this cause, I am proud to have at my side the next Vice President of the United States: Governor Mike Pence of Indiana. And a great guy. We will bring the same economic success to America that Mike brought to Indiana.
Uh, Donald…Mike Pence was a staunch supporter of those very trade deals that you’re now using as the core of your campaign. His ideas about economic success clearly aren’t the same as yours. As for stripping our country of jobs, you’ve done a fine job of that yourself by having your clothing line made in Mexico and China and using special immigration exceptions to bring in Mexicans and Central Americans to work at your resorts instead of Americans. Your hypocrisy on this really could not possibly be any more clear.
To be continued…