Donald Trump is like a box of chocolates.
Donald Trump’s march through the GOP primary has made a number of Republican heads explode. The RNC was notable for the absence of the Bush family, John McCain, Mitt Romney, four primary opponents (John Kasich, Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush and Lindsay Graham) a couple of embattled Senators from blue states (New Hampshire’s Ayotte and Mark Kirk from Illinois). Ted Cruz agreed to show up, then made a shocking speech where he did not endorse Trump.
Here’s what we already know that the GOP has accepted as their party platform in breaking down his acceptance speech:
- He has reversed the party’s stance on Free Trade (NAFTA was passed overwhelmingly by Republicans 132–43 in the House and 34–12 in the Senate. Democrats were against it, 156–102 in the House but split 27 YEA 26 NAY in the Senate).
- He has stated no more foreign intervention (Republicans voted overwhelmingly in favor of Iraq War 215–6, with 2 abstentions, and 48–1 in the Senate, while the Democrats voted against it 126–82 in the House, and 29–21 in favor of it in the Senate)
- Trump wants to massively expand the deficit by proposing the largest tax cuts of any candidate, while expanding the military (Both policies are supported by majority of the GOP — they’re just bad at math, so the budget deficit problems don’t bother them as long as the money is being spent on guns and bombs, instead of helping the poor or reducing education costs.)
- Trump wants to deregulate industry and embrace coal. (Republicans are happy with this.)
- Trump wants to “build roads, highways, bridges, tunnels, airpots and the railways of tomorrow” (Again a head scratcher. Didn’t the GOP obstruct Obama’s call to rebuild our infrastructure for the last eight years? Will they support the same plans now, simply because everything will have giant gold letters on them spelling out “Trump?”)
- He will replace Supreme Court Justices with people similar to Scalia. (Thank goodness for that.)
- He wants to expand home schooling and allow event more blatant electioneering in church. (Three cheers from the Evangelicals!)
- He will restore safety on the day of his inauguration. (Bonus points for that one!)
- He has advocated a new mathematic system where small numbers are big and big numbers are small (Trump: “The number of police officers killed in the line of duty has risen by almost 50% compared to this point last year.” Facts from the BBC: 42 officers died in 2015, while 26 have died up to today in 2016. Average number of police officers killed during Bush administration: 54.6. Average number of police officers killed during Obama first seven years in office: 49.8. There were 70,000 more officers on the streets in 2013 than there were in 2000.)
- Mexican illegal aliens are killers, but may not be rapists. (He mentioned Sarah Root, a 21-year-old girl killed the day after graduating. The killer was released a second time and is now a fugitive from the law. Willie Horton, anyone? He also mentioned three other sets of parent whose children were killed by illegal immigrants.)
- Trump has thrown George W. Bush completely under the bus on economic issues (“Household incomes are down more than $4000 since the year 2000.” Does he realize that 2000 was the end of the Clinton administration?)
- But apparently, Hillary Clinton is responsible for the disaster in Iraq, so that evens it out, a little. (“After fifteen years of wars in the Middle East, after trillions of dollars spent and thousands of lives lost, the situation is worse than it has ever been before. This is the legacy of Hillary Clinton: death, destruction and weakness.”)
- Trump wants to abandon the “failed policy of national building and regime change that Hillary Clinton pushed in Iraq, Libya, Egypt and Syria.” (Don’t worry Neocons, he didn’t mention anything about your nation building and regime change activities.)
- Trump economic plan is to end bad foreign trade deals and turn the domestic economy into the State of Indiana (“We will bring the same economic success to America that Mike brought to Indiana.”)
- Trump intends to expand the Apprentice on a national scale. (“I will work with, and appoint, the best prosecutors and law enforcement officials in the country to get the job done.”
- Trump will renegotiate bad trade agreements by “threatening to walk away if we don’t get the deal that we want.” (Apparently contract law doesn’t apply if you have the largest military force in the world.)
- Trump will make life better for young blacks: “Every action I take, I will ask myself: does this make life better for young Americans in Baltimore, Chicago, Detroit, Ferguson who have as much of a right to live out their dreams as any other child America?”
- Trump is the only one who can make America great again. And he said it enough times so there could be no misunderstanding:
“Nobody knows the system better than me, which is why I alone can fix it.”
“I can be your champion in the White House. And I will be a champion. Your champion.”
I’m with you — the American People… I am your voice… I’m with you, and I will fight for you and I will win for you.”
Here were the few surprises from tonight’s speech:
- Trump will protect “our LGBTQ citizens from the violence and oppression of a hateful foreign ideology.” (Oops. How is this guy going to feel about it? This clip from the Religious Liberties Conference held right before the Iowa Caucuses and attended by Huckabee, Jindal and Lyin’ Ted Cruz.)
- Trump mentioned building a great border wall, but did not say who would pay for it. The crowd was unable to do their usual call and response chant.
- Trump did not mention a ban on Muslims coming into the country. Instead he said, “we must immediately suspend immigration from any nation that has been compromised by terrorism until such time as proven vetting mechanisms have been put in place.”
- Trump attacked Clinton constantly, but did not let the crowd chant “lock her up.”
Trump half-yelled throughout the entire speech, but overall, it was a fairly robotic performance, with only a couple of funny ad libbed remarks. Based on the disappearance of his more outrageous statements, I wonder if he is trying to appear more “presidential.”
At the end of his speech, two songs played as they released the confetti and balloons: Free’s pick-up anthem “All Right Now” and the Stones’ “You Can’t Always Get What You Want.” I can’t imagine a more fitting climax to the convention, as Trump fired symbolic shots at feminists and the Republican establishment.
At the same time, I felt like we got to the end of the box of chocolates, with a trail of wrappers and half-eaten candies discarded on the campaign trail. Without someone to engage him, so he can trade insults and win the Twitter wars, Trump started to become boring, just like any other grouchy 70-year-old. And that may be the thing that will finally derail his candidacy.