It may sound like hyperbole, but after watching Donald Trump’s acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention Thursday night, it sure as hell seemed like the man was calling for a race war.
Going into the evening, we already had a good idea of what he was going to say. Sure, he was going to use a teleprompter, and speechwriters were going toss some ‘facts’ and complete sentences in the mix, but it was likely just going to be a gussied up version of his typical stump speech. The Trump team released excerpts of the address hours before the candidate took the stage, and it was as expected. Lots of Hillary bashing and red meat for the GOP masses.
Then, someone leaked the entire draft to Democrats and the media, and it was far, far worse than what we figured. The thing was incredibly long, and made multiple references to Hispanics, African-Americans and Muslims as essentially being enemies of ‘real’ Americans. All while mentioning himself as the “law and order candidate,” Trump noted how minorities were killing Americans, here and abroad. The fearmongering was incessant and intense.
Now, it was bad enough reading it, but when it was delivered in front of a rabid crowd that was probably 99% white, it came across as authoritarian, fascist and downright brutal. On and on, Trump made sure those listening knew who the real enemy was — brown people. And the last thing America can do is put weak-willed liberals like Hillary Clinton in charge because those brown people will go to town killing God-fearing white folks.
With his face growing a deeper shade of orange with each bellow, we were treated to phrases like this:
The number of police officers killed in the line of duty has risen by almost 50% compared to this point last year. Nearly 180,000 illegal immigrants with criminal records, ordered deported from our country, are tonight roaming free to threaten peaceful citizens.
The number of new illegal immigrant families who have crossed the border so far this year already exceeds the entire total from 2015. They are being released by the tens of thousands into our communities with no regard for the impact on public safety or resources.
One such border-crosser was released and made his way to Nebraska. There, he ended the life of an innocent young girl named Sarah Root. She was 21 years-old, and was killed the day after graduating from college with a 4.0 Grade Point Average. Her killer was then released a second time, and he is now a fugitive from the law.
America was shocked to its core when our police officers in Dallas were brutally executed. In the days after Dallas, we have seen continued threats and violence against our law enforcement officials. Law officers have been shot or killed in recent days in Georgia, Missouri, Wisconsin, Kansas, Michigan and Tennessee.
On Sunday, more police were gunned down in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Three were killed, and four were badly injured. An attack on law enforcement is an attack on all Americans. I have a message to every last person threatening the peace on our streets and the safety of our police: when I take the oath of office next year, I will restore law and order our country.
I will work with, and appoint, the best prosecutors and law enforcement officials in the country to get the job done. In this race for the White House, I am the Law And Order candidate. The irresponsible rhetoric of our President, who has used the pulpit of the presidency to divide us by race and color, has made America a more dangerous environment for everyone.
And don’t forget this:
[W]e must immediately suspend immigration from any nation that has been compromised by terrorism until such time as proven vetting mechanisms have been put in place.
My opponent has called for a radical 550% increase in Syrian refugees on top of existing massive refugee flows coming into our country under President Obama. She proposes this despite the fact that there’s no way to screen these refugees in order to find out who they are or where they come from. I only want to admit individuals into our country who will support our values and love our people.
Anyone who endorses violence, hatred or oppression is not welcome in our country and never will be.
Oh yeah, and how ’bout this:
On Monday, we heard from three parents whose children were killed by illegal immigrants Mary Ann Mendoza, Sabine Durden, and Jamiel Shaw. They are just three brave representatives of many thousands. Of all my travels in this country, nothing has affected me more deeply than the time I have spent with the mothers and fathers who have lost their children to violence spilling across our border.
These families have no special interests to represent them. There are no demonstrators to protest on their behalf. My opponent will never meet with them, or share in their pain. Instead, my opponent wants Sanctuary Cities. But where was sanctuary for Kate Steinle? Where was Sanctuary for the children of Mary Ann, Sabine and Jamiel? Where was sanctuary for all the other Americans who have been so brutally murdered, and who have suffered so horribly?
These wounded American families have been alone. But they are alone no longer. Tonight, this candidate and this whole nation stand in their corner to support them, to send them our love, and to pledge in their honor that we will save countless more families from suffering the same awful fate.
We already knew that Trump would spend quite a bit of time scapegoating blacks, Muslims and Latinos for the perceived ills of this country. His entire campaign has been built on white resentment. But the delivery, combined with the fact that he was on stage accepting the nomination for president from one of this nation’s two major parties, is what made this so frightening.
It has been commented many times — too numerous to count — that Trump’s rally speeches have a certain right-wing nationalistic quality to them. And the love white supremacists have for him is no secret. But to see a speech that could have been delivered in 1930s Germany on primetime television in 2016 America? That is beyond disconcerting — it should be enough to shake us to our very core.
Even beyond the obvious targeting of ethnic and racial minorities, the very fact that framed his Democratic opponent as a criminal who should be in jail, all while presenting the current leader as illegitimate, should set off alarm bells. Combine that with a total disregard of facts — at one point, Trump told the audience he would give them the real facts, not the fake ones hyped by the media — and the insistence that all of our institutions are corrupt, rigged and broken, and the comparisons to fascism are indeed apt.
America, you cannot allow this to happen. You just can’t.