Donald Trump Accepts the Republican Nomination
Thursday night, on the final day of the Republican National Convention, Donald Trump “humbly and gratefully” accepted his party’s nomination for president. In the longest acceptance speech at the convention since 1972, no doubt extended by the chanting that ensued after nearly every line of the speech, Trump laid out his plan for the country while arguing against the policies of President Obama and Hillary Clinton.
The Republican nominee began with his recent theme of “Law and Order” by discussing the southern border and threats posed by ISIS. He expressed his desire for the U.S. to be a warm and welcoming country, while adding that we must be a secure country in order to be able to carry out that vision. Trump opined that national defense is of so much importance that any leader who doesn’t realize the threat the country faces from rogue illegal immigrants and terrorists is unfit to serve.
Trump didn’t take too long to move on to Hillary Clinton. Trump expressed outrage at the democratic machine that uses her like a “puppet”, simultaneously covering up what he argued to be grave injustices and violations of the country’s law. Trump tied Clinton to “the rigged system” which he says only looks out for those who protect its interests. Trump even expressed pity for Bernie Sanders who “didn’t have a chance” due to this same system. Trump made a big move when he vowed to protect the LGBTQ community from radical terrorists who specifically target them. This topic received cheers from the crowd, which caused Trump to veer slightly away from his prepared speech saying, “I have to say, that as a Republican, it is so nice to hear you cheering for what I just said.”
The topic of illegal immigration then arose, the topic that gave Trump the spotlight in the election cycle several months ago. He approached the subject in a unique way for a Republican candidate. By pointing out the violence caused by “uncontrolled immigration” and the harm it has caused families rather than just lost American jobs, Trump spoke to a wider audience.Trump was not shy about his desire to convert Bernie Sanders’ fans in an effort to fight “the system”. This approach to the problem of illegal immigration was another step towards recruiting former Sanders’ supporters.
Trump went on to talk about bad trade deals and the suffocating regulations on American energy and promised to fix these problems “very, very quickly”. However, by this point, Trump had already made the majority of his case to the electorate. He portrayed himself as a different type of Republican who wants to fight for every American citizen, including the lower class, minorities, and the LGBTQ community.
It will be up to the voters to decide in November which Trump they believe is revealing his true colors. Is the real Donald Trump the one who carelessly insults women and threatens to ban all Muslims from entering the country? Or is the real Donald Trump the one we saw Thursday night, who wants to represent all Americans? That question will likely determine whether or not Trump is able to pull voters from the middle and left of the spectrum to defeat Hillary Clinton.