As the country reels from its crises, facing domestic and international terrorism, culture wars orchestrated by the powerful machinery of the left and economic decline robbing generations, these are the qualities that a nation on the edge of despair is desperately looking for.
If there is one defining quality for Donald Trump that sums up his essence, it is confidence. And that is also the quality that the Republican National Convention has also come to embody.
Day after day, speaker after speaker has boldly laid out a confident case for a national resurgence.
This has been an unapologetic convention. A convocation of men and women who refuse to back away from their beliefs. Proudly politically incorrect, the convention rocked Cleveland. Defying the threats and predictions of violence, the protests proved to amount to little more than a nuisance showing once again that confidence and courage can achieve success where compromise and appeasement fail.
Tonight the pattern held true as Sheriff Joe Arpaio told a cheering crowd the simple truth. "We are the only country in the world whose immigration systems put the needs of other nations ahead of ours. We are more concerned with the rights of illegal aliens and criminals than we are with protecting our own country."
“When I was a kid, the great debate was about how to defeat the Soviet Union. And we won. Now we are told that the great debate is about who gets to use which bathroom,” Peter Thiel declared.
African-American pastor Mark Burns proudly led a chant of, “All lives matter.” And he told a cheering crowd, "Despite the color you were born with, here in America, the only colors that matter are the colors red, white, and blue.”
This was exactly the sort of uncompromising tone with which Donald Trump took the stage, telling those in attendance that, “Beginning on January 20th 2017, safety will be restored. The most basic duty of government is to defend the lives of its own citizens. Any government that fails to do so is a government unworthy to lead.”
It was a confident statement about national security that not only offered no concessions or apologies, but in an instant shrugged off the malaise and madness of the Obama and Hillary years. It took the web of lies and deceits, the Orwellian word games and gaslighting from an administration that claims appeasement is national security and that Islam is our only hope of defeating Islamic terrorism and tore it to shreds with a lesson on what real national security is supposed to look like. It doesn’t involve helping the Muslim Brotherhood take over governments, but defending us from Islamic terrorists.
On the pro-crime policies which have led to sharp rises in crime and anti-police terror, Trump was equally devastating. “Decades of progress made in bringing down crime are now being reversed by this Administration’s rollback of criminal enforcement. Homicides last year increased by 17% in America’s 50 largest cities. That’s the largest increase in 25 years. In our nation’s capital, killings have risen by 50 percent. They are up nearly 60 percent in nearby Baltimore.” That was not what advocates of “sentencing reform” wanted to hear.
Trump denounced the “sacrifice” of American lives on the “altar of open borders”. He demanded to know where the sanctuary cities were for the victims of illegal alien crime like Kate Steinle. He slammed an economic recovery in which “4 in 10 African-American children are living in poverty” and “2 million more Latinos are in poverty today than when President Obama took his oath of office less than eight years ago” holding Obama accountable for the economic misery of the minorities whom the left claims to defend.
Obama had doubled our debt and all we had to show for it was a decaying infrastructure and 43 million people on food stamps, he pointed out, showing the hollowness of Obama’s obscene spending sprees.
Abroad, Trump’s case against Obama and Hillary was equally devastating. Iran had shown off its capture and abuse of American sailors “forced to their knees by their Iranian captors at gunpoint” before the nuclear deal which “gave back to Iran $150 billion and gave us absolutely nothing”.
In the face of a GOP foreign policy establishment which had largely backed the Arab Spring, Trump utterly disavowed it and praised the Egyptian military for removing the Muslim Brotherhood from power. It was a wonderful act of political heresy. And Trump wrapped up his foreign policy case with a simple and devastating truth that all this was, “the legacy of Hillary Clinton: death, destruction, terrorism, and weakness.”
Then, even more boldly, Trump laid out a case for his own candidacy as the change candidate. Hillary Clinton represented a “rigged system” controlled by the “special interests” of “big business, elite media and major donors” that had lined up behind her candidacy.
That is why Hillary Clinton’s message is that things will never change. My message is that things have to change – and they have to change right now,” Trump declared. With those words, he solidified his theme. Beyond ideology and ideas, Trump had embraced his strongest element, the radical reinvention of politics, to become the candidate of change, while Hillary, who had beaten Bernie Sanders and enlisted the aid of Obama by promising to be his third term, became the candidate of the status quo.
“I am your voice,” Trump called out to the unemployed workers and to victims of crime and terror. Hillary Clinton was, by contrast, the voice of the rigged system which had protected and coddled her.
And that was yet one more thing that would change. “On January 21st of 2017, the day after I take the oath of office, Americans will finally wake up in a country where the laws of the United States are enforced.” And that is the last thing that Hillary and her cronies and corrupt associates want.
Trump contrasted Hillary’s “loyalty pledge” of “I’m With Her” with his pledge of “I’m With You, The American People.”
Trump vowed to restore law and order, to restore the economy, to restore national defense and to restore the country. He vowed to change broken systems and rigged systems. He committed numerous common sense heresies, including calling for an end to nation building and a Muslim immigration ban.
And he did it all unapologetically and with a casual confidence that so many wanted to see and hear closing with the core message of the convention. “We Will Make America Strong Again. We Will Make America Proud Again. We Will Make America Safe Again. And We Will Make America Great Again.”