Donald Trump is the GOP nominee. No more presumptive. He's it. He's the man. He's the one the Republicans have quarterbacking their team this election season. On Thursday night, Trump gave a loud, boisterous, bleak speech in which he gladly accepted the Republican Party's nomination of him for president.
So this is real now. And Trump responded to this realness by giving a souped-up version of the same stump speech he always gives, only longer (so long … the longest acceptance speech in decades, clocking in at about an hour and 15 minutes) and louder (so loud … it was very “old man yells at cloud”). He didn't go as far as Pastor Mark Burns, who spoke earlier during the Republican National Convention on Thursday night and was shouting "All lives matter" like he was at a church revival whose theme was "False Equivalency," but he went far enough, touting himself as the "law and order" president, repeating the phrase over and over like he was getting a check from Dick Wolf.
Still, there was one, maybe two, distinct reactions to be had to Trump's speech, which I can easily map out below with one burning, searing question: How?
Trump brought up building that wall again. He also said that he'd stop companies from sending jobs overseas. He also said that he’d improve employment in the inner cities. He said he'd stop "illegal immigration." He said he'd repeal "Obamacare." He said he'd unite the country. He said we don't win anymore, but we'll win again. He said he'd do a lot of things, short of promising every American a pheasant in each pot and a pet pony in each garage. All of this left folks with one burning question: "How, Sway?"
Trump said, "The crime and violence that today afflicts our nation will soon—and I mean very soon—come to an end. Beginning on January 20, 2017, safety will be restored."
Trump said, "First, my plan will begin with safety at home, which means safe neighborhoods, secure borders and protection from terrorism."
Trump gave a shout-out to Bernie Sanders and his supporters with this promise: "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 issue: trade deals that strip our country of jobs and the distribution of wealth in the country."
Then Trump was also like, I'm gonna protect the "EL BE GEE TEE KEW" community from ISIS, and folks gave him a standing ovation.
It was the second "Hey, we don't really hate the gays" moment for the night; the first was delivered when Silicon Valley billionaire Republican Peter Thiel, who happens to be gay, spoke and got a lot of claps for it.
But Trump's nomination speech, like every Trump speech, was completely devoid of solutions to the many, many problems Trump said was wrong with America. Not one detail was given as to how he'd do anything on his "Make America Great Again" checklist. I guess if your ideas are that good, you don't want to give them away for free. Maybe making that sweet, sweet $400,000 a year as leader of the free world is just the incentive Trump needs to actually crack open his skull like Zeus and birth the answers from his forehead.
Trump did offer one "plan" of sorts, though, during his speech that gave me pause when I wasn't simply thinking:
Trump said, "[O]ur plan will put America first. Americanism, not globalism, will be our credo."
Mmm, nationalism. That's never caused any problems. I hate to bring up the f-word, but what a fascist thing to say, future "Dear Leader."
Still, the speech played to the cheap seats, and by cheap, I mean racist. Former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard David Duke loved it!
Yup. When you're getting kudos from a former Klansman, you know you're yelling up the right, far-right, alt-right tree. And Trump really yelled at that tree Thursday night, leaving little concern about how some might interpret what he had to say.
Still, all I want to know is, even for the things the grand wizard liked, how, Sway? How? How? How?
You don't have the answers, Trump.