BY JOEL MOSKOWITZ
Thursday night felt like the Bizzaro world’s Republican convention. If you didn’t know the dynamics of the campaign before last night, you might be forgiven for thinking, at least for the first three hours of prime time, that this was just another ordinary RNC. The candidate’s friend and daughter warmed up the audience with hagiographic stories of the nominee. The stage looked pretty much like any other conventions even if the blue in the American flags seemed tinted a bit brighter for the benefit of television. Perhaps they were meant to mute Trump’s orange hue, which varies from his skin to his hair.
The nominee himself put out one small hand of seeming reconciliation and unity and with the other small hand (yes they are small at least in proportion to the rest of him) used all the code words for suppression of the aspirations of minorities and the lifting of white privilege. The audience was almost exclusively white and middle aged and they ate up every deeply coded message. They may not reflect the American mosaic but they do reflect an electrified and emboldened populace that feels it has given away too much to the others in America epitomized by the illegitimate election of Barack Hussein Obama.
To many of us the words “Law and Order” have a deeper meaning than the title of a TV show. Law and order are code words for fighting crime and supposed social disorder by disproportionately arresting people of color. Those words were bandied about by Trump more times than I care to count. His use of the terms “radical Islamic terrorists” and “illegal immigrants” were used enough times and with his cadence rising to grasp that his intention was not to point out the crimes of a minority of people belonging to a group but as a broad paintbrush with which to tar all Muslims and Latinos. Even his supposed shout out to the LBGTQ community made no reference to the homophobia and bible thumping of his party.
One almost wished for the quaint days when the Republican nominee simply invoked God, school prayer and anti abortion slogans – issues seemingly moderate compared to banning whole groups of refugees and building border fences. Trump’s populist side got a nod when reminded everyone that he knows how broken our political system is because until now he’s exploited it. Newsflash, you’re not much of a populist if you are for less regulation, not with this climate and not post the meltdown of 2008.
Full speech by Republican Nominee Donald Trump on Night 4 of the Republican National Convention.
Listening to Trump one would think that the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq were started and lost by the Obama administration and were solely the fault of Hillary Clinton’s one term as Secretary of State. While he pledged to eradicate ISIS he came up short on details. Seems Rambo is here to rescue us; he will shoot first and ask questions later.
Still, watching the Donald Trump of last night, scripted, tele-promptered and staged he almost seemed dare I say it, presidential. I do not fault those that argue that Trump is three parts bluster and one part mush. Until he leeched on to the birther issue most people thought Trump’s politics were strictly Trump-centric. If in fact he is playing the role of political carnival barker, last night proved that he could be xenophobic and racist in a more genteel manner. Ultimately, he will be judged by his deeds I for one just hope we don’t get that opportunity.
Joel Moskowitz is a businessman and writer who lives in New York. His blog, The Ranting Heeb is available on blogger.com. He is also a regular blogger for the Times of Israel.