The final night of the Trump Convention turned into a massive violation of the Hatch Act as Trump transformed The People’s House into his own sleazy reality-TV stage in a vain and desperate attempt to bolster his stagnant poll numbers and TV ratings. (Night Three, the prior evening, had horrible viewership with only half as many people watching as watched Night Three of the Democrats’ convention). Trump’s acceptance speech was introduced by daughter Ivanka, who said about her father’s presidency, “The results speak for themselves!” The deaths of 180,000 Americans, 10-million unemployed, historic deficits, racial strife, targeted troops and presidential corruption speak loudly indeed.
Trump eventually swept in and took the stage to read lifelessly from the teleprompter for a miserable seventy minutes–the second longest convention acceptance speech behind his 2016 acceptance speech–and even Fox host Chris Wallace afterwards described a sweaty Trump as “low energy.”
But more to the point, Trump’s speech was filled with lies. As he often does, Trump claimed that he passed the Veteran’s Choice Law but in fact President Obama signed it into law in 2014. He also repeated his lie that he and Republicans would protect pre-existing conditions even though his DOJ is currently in court trying to kill the ACA and end protection for pre-existing conditions. Trump bragged about presiding over a gain of 9-million jobs in the last three months but conveniently forgot to mention that the gains followed a historic job loss of 22-million in the prior two months. Trump said he would continue to lower drug prices but they have actually increased during his tenure. He said he opened the Jerusalem Embassy for under $500,000 but government documents reveal the actual cost was at least $21-million. He claimed to have banned travel from China and Europe when in fact he only placed partial restrictions on both with many exemptions. Trump bragged about building 300 miles of border wall but only 5 miles of border wall has been built that didn’t exist before he entered office, the rest was replacement wall. He said Biden wants to take away guns when in fact Biden supports voluntary buy-backs of assault weapons. He also said Biden wants to eliminate borders, which is ridiculous on its face and a bold-faced lie. And of course he blamed the protests and violence on Biden even though they are happening while Trump is president. Trump said the DNC removed the word “God” from the pledge of allegiance in their telecast when in fact “God” was in the DNC telecasts. Trump whined about the left-wings’ cancel culture even though he tried to cancel all sorts of people and businesses, most recently trying to cancel Goodyear Tires for prohibiting political attire in the workplace.
Adding more insult to the injury of his speech, the evening concluded with a large and garish fireworks display above the DC Mall with “Trump 2020” emblazoned in the sky, yet another misuse of public property (and taxpayer money) for a purely partisan political event. And the fireworks were accompanied by a version of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” that was apparently not authorized, like so many other songs Trump appropriates for his events. For anyone who cares about the traditions of the executive branch and the principles upon which they are based, including prohibiting campaigns from using public property, projecting the appearance of bias and impropriety, the appropriation and misuse of pubic symbols, the utter degradation and cheapening of the White House to prop up a lying con-man was truly heartbreaking.
Trump said nothing about Jacob Blake being shot seven times in the back, nor did Trump mention the radical right-wing militia gunman (aka domestic terrorist) who later killed two protesters in cold blood. Because that would have required leadership, and Trump has proven himself incapable.
The overarching theme of the night, from Rudy Giuliani to Ivanka to Donald seemed to be the ridiculous and contradictory notion that “if you don’t like all the horrible things going on in America, vote for Trump and he will fix them.” Trump never takes responsibility for ANYTHING, so all of the bad things happening now are not his fault, yet he will somehow make things better if re-elected. But we all know the truth. The violent, divided, discordant, battered, exhausted America we’ve suffered for three-and-a-half years is Trump’s America.
This will be the most important election of our lifetimes. Have a voting plan. Encourage your friends to vote. Volunteer to help in swing states (with Swing Left, MoveOn or similar groups). Give money to Biden, Delgado, the DSCC, individual senate races, voter engagement groups (SwingLeft, MoveOn) and maybe even groups like The Lincoln Project or Meidas Touch.
Keep working to “vote his ass out of office.”
I’ll be taking the coming week off before resuming for the final dash to the finish. Have a safe and relaxing weekend, and a productive week.