Donald Trump gave a major, general election address today in New York.
Up front, it is no secret that I am not a Trump supporter or fan. I think the man is a crook, a mouth-breather, and a dangerous charlatan. The speech, though, in my view showed that Trump has assessed the electoral climate in the country and, rightfully, arrived at the conclusion that where it might be hard to convince people to vote for him in appreciable numbers, they will vote against Hillary with a song in their heart and a smile on their face.
This speech is not only aimed at his base within the GOP. He reaches out to Sanders supporters and to working class Democrats. His critique of globalization focuses on the harm it has done to the economic well-being of blacks and Hispanics. He paints Clinton, accurately, as an arrogant, corrupt, self-aggrandizing kleptocrat.
You can find the transcript here.
These are the themes that he hit.
America is in decline, the system is broken, and the Clintons are at the root of the problem.
When I see the crumbling roads and bridges, or the dilapidated airports, or the factories moving overseas to Mexico, or to other countries, I know these problems can all be fixed, but not by Hillary Clinton – only by me.
We will never be able to fix a rigged system by counting on the same people who rigged it in the first place.
The insiders wrote the rules of the game to keep themselves in power and in the money.
That’s why we’re asking Bernie Sanders’ voters to join our movement: so together we can fix the system for ALL Americans. Importantly, this includes fixing all of our many disastrous trade deals.
Because it’s not just the political system that’s rigged. It’s the whole economy.
It’s rigged by big donors who want to keep down wages.
It’s rigged by big businesses who want to leave our country, fire our workers, and sell their products back into the U.S. with absolutely no consequences for them.
It’s rigged by bureaucrats who are trapping kids in failing schools.
It’s rigged against you, the American people.
She gets rich making you poor.
She sold out our workers, and our country, for Beijing.
Hillary Clinton has also been the biggest promoter of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which will ship millions more of our jobs overseas – and give up Congressional power to an international foreign commission.
Now, because I have pointed out why it would be such a disastrous deal, she is pretending that she is against it. She has even deleted this record of total support from her book – deletion is something she is very good at — (at least 30,000 emails are missing.)
But this latest Clinton cover-up doesn’t change anything: if she is elected president, she will adopt the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and we will lose millions of jobs and our economic independence for good. She will do this, just as she has betrayed the American worker on trade at every single stage of her career – and it will be even worse than the Clintons’ NAFTA deal.
The overarching theme in the speech is that every single institution in the United States has teamed up to enrich itself at the expense of the economic well-being of the American worker.
Globalism is to blame and the Clintons are globalists.
Our country lost its way when we stopped putting the American people first.
We got here because we switched from a policy of Americanism – focusing on what’s good for America’s middle class – to a policy of globalism, focusing on how to make money for large corporations who can move their wealth and workers to foreign countries all to the detriment of the American worker and the American economy.
We reward companies for offshoring, and we punish companies for doing business in America and keeping our workers employed.
This is not a rising tide that lifts all boats.
This is a wave of globalization that wipes out our middle class and our jobs.
We need to reform our economic system so that, once again, we can all succeed together, and America can become rich again.
That’s what we mean by America First.
Our country will be better off when we start making our own products again, bringing our once great manufacturing capabilities back to our shores.
Our Founders understood this.
One of the first major bills signed by George Washington called for “the encouragement and protection of manufactur[ing]” in America.
Our first Republican President, Abraham Lincoln, warned us by saying: “The abandonment of the protective policy by the American government will produce want and ruin among our people.”
I have visited the cities and towns across America and seen the devastation caused by the trade policies of Bill and Hillary Clinton.
Hillary Clinton supported Bill Clinton’s disastrous NAFTA, just like she supported China’s entrance into the World Trade Organization.
We’ve lost nearly one-third of our manufacturing jobs since these two Hillary-backed agreements were signed.
Our trade deficit with China soared 40% during Hillary Clinton’s time as Secretary of State — a disgraceful performance for which she should not be congratulated, but rather scorned.
Then she let China steal hundreds of billions of dollars in our intellectual property – a crime which is continuing to this day.
Hillary Clinton gave China millions of our best jobs, and effectively let China completely rebuild itself.
In return, Hillary Clinton got rich!
Empirically, of course, this is nonsense. Since 1980 and the era of large scale free trade deals, the American middle class has expanded
But, to even middle class workers who see real wages eroding, benefits going away, job tenure and security evaporating, and a grim future awaiting their children, this critique will ring true. And it will play just as well among the 99-percenters/Occupy-Wall-Street types who are fueling the Sanders campaign as it does in rural Red States and in depressed industrial areas of the northeast and midwest. Hillary Clinton, herself, is keenly aware of this vulnerability as she is airbrushing her historic support of the TPP into oblivion.
Hillary Clinton is an incompetent, a crook and the lyingest liar that ever lied a lie.
Without a doubt the most salient feature of this speech was the direct and personal attack on Hillary Clinton’s character. Never before has a major political figure laid out a detailed bill of indictment of a political opponent. Bosnia sniper attack. Check. Email. Check. Foreign contributions. Check. Libya fiasco. Check. Benghazi. Check. Lying to Benghazi families. Check. ISIS. Check. Syria. Check. Un-vetted Syrian refugees. Check. Personal enrichment while at State. Check. Close ties to nations that kill homosexuals. Check.
This is going to present the liberal fact checking industry with at least a momentary twinge of anxiety because to fact check the allegations they have to repeat the allegations and the proof. And even though we know Trump probably overstated things by 50%, the 50% he hit are devastating.
If Trump keeps up this tempo of direct and personal attacks on Clinton it will be interesting to see how she responds. Her campaign performs much more like a bloated federal agency (the natural model that she would use) than a lithe and versatile machine. It will take days for them to draft and get approval on responses to Trump’s attacks and they will be perpetually behind the power curve. Trump making the allegations also ensures that Clinton and her surrogates will be asked to respond to them. More importantly, Trump’s attacks neatly dovetail with what most of the nation already believes about Clinton and with enough reinforcement “I’m not Hillary Clinton” may be all that Trump needs to win.
What does Trump offer? Well, “trust me” would sum it up well.
Here are a few things a Trump Administration will do for America in the first 100 days:
Appoint judges who will uphold the Constitution. Hillary Clinton’s radical judges will virtually abolish the 2nd amendment.
Change immigration rules to give unemployed Americans an opportunity to fill good-paying jobs
Stand up to countries that cheat on trade, of which there are many
Cancel rules and regulations that send jobs overseas
Lift restrictions on energy production
Repeal and replace job-killing Obamacare — it is a disaster.
Pass massive tax reform to create millions of new jobs.
Impose tough new ethics rules to restore dignity to the Office of Secretary of State.
There is nothing in the man’s history or actions to indicate that he will do this. His own tax plan is a joke. Note that he does not mention religious liberty even once in the speech. While he expresses concern for the persecution of homosexuals in the Middle East he completely ignores the active extinguishing of ancient Christian communities there and what is happening in the United States.
The speech does nothing to raise Trump but it does a great deal to diminish Hillary and that may be the best Trump can hope for.