Donald Trump says America is on the road to ruin and that only he can get it back on track. He says crime, terrorism, and illegal immigration are threatening our way of life. In fact, he says, many of us are hesitant to even leave the house. The America he describes is not the America I live in.
The Republican National Convention was a spectacle for many reasons. Day one featured a futile effort by the “Never Trump” delegates to change the rules. Day two featured a plagiarism scandal that Trump says actually wound up as good publicity. Day three saw a former rival, Ted Cruz, “stand his ground” in his refusal to support the person who clearly won the primaries, but insulted his wife. But day four will stand out not because of a miscue, or a renegade, but rather because of Donald Trump’s philosophy.
Trump cherry-picked statistics to help make a stronger argument. This is not a new method. But in the past, American leaders have used this device to lead them to their plans for solutions. Unless they were coded somewhere in the rhetoric, I literally heard zero ideas to solve the problems he outlined, and exaggerated. If we’re truly on the verge of dystopia, please tell me your plan to get us off! And while there weren’t even general plans included in the 75 minute speech (the longest in 40 years), he did include time frames for solving problems: fast. That includes tax reform, immigration, crime, the economy and terrorism. That’s a challenging list.
“I alone can fix it.” The Republican candidate for president repeatedly told us how he’s the man to take on and fix the US’s “rigged” political system. It was my understanding that the US government was intentionally designed to prevent a single person from being able to overhaul the political system. I would assume that statements like these would concern truly conservative voters. Judging from the crowds in Cleveland, this is not the case. Judging from the polls, it’s pervasive.
Trump is getting some credit for his mention of the LGBTQ community. Peter Thiel, the co-founder of PayPal, is the first person to declare his homosexuality openly on the stage of a Republican National Convention. It was greeted with applause. When Trump brought up the issue, he said “I will do everything in my power to protect our LGBTQ citizens from the violence and oppression of a hateful foreign ideology.” Judging from his choice in a running mate and the GOP platform, he does not have plans to protect the LGBTQ community from a hateful domestic ideology.
Donald Trump repeatedly told us he is “our voice.” He says he is the voice of the forgotten factory worker who’s been “crushed by our horrible and unfair trade deals.” He says he is the voice of the religious community who’s “ability to advocate their political views” have been taken away. He says he is simply the voice of the “American people.” If Donald Trump is my voice, I think it’s best I just stop talking.
Measurement and evaluation