Monday, July 25, 2016

A few more thoughts about Trump's speech

1.  Some stats about police officer killings that Trump lied about in his speech.   This is the  average number of officers killed -- per year -- during the time in office of recent presidents.  
   Reagan 101
   Bush I    90
   Clinton   81
   Bush II  72
   Obama   62
The decline is obviously a long-range trend, so it's not something Obama can, or is trying to, take credit for.   However, it refutes Trump's claim of the opposite, that Obama's policies have resulted in the most killings ever.

2.  There is one positive thing I will credit Trump with in his speech.   He referred to the shooting in the Orlando gay nightclub, spoke with regret about the LGBTQ lives that were lost and then pledged to protect the LGBTQ community.    The audience applauded quite vigorously.   And then Trump, obviously an ad lib, said:   "I just want to say one thing about your response to what I just said.  It feels really good to have that kind of support for our LGBTQ friends at a Republican convention."   This felt genuine, and it was followed by even more spirited applause.   [My quote may not be his exact words;  but I got the sentiment right.]

This is historic.   It's also evidence of the continuing split in the party on issues between "the party" establishment and the Trump voters.   The Platform adopted by this same party supports several anti-gay proposals"reparative therapy" for homosexuals, overturning marriage equality, and allowing religious groups to discriminate in these "religious freedom" bills.  But the Trump campaign scheduled an openly gay man, Peter Thiel (who also happens to be a billionaire Trump supporter) to speak on the final night, within an hour prior to Trump's own speech.   Besides identifying himself as gay, he gave a shout-out to this convention for not focusing on the old "social values issues" but more on economic ones.   And it's true:   Trump's speech didn't mention abortion once, and LGBTQ issues were mentioned only in positive terms and got positive audience support.

3.  One of Trump's climactic lines came just after talking about all those who feel their problems are being ignored, that they have no voice.    He proclaimed:   "I . . . Am . . . Your . . . Voice."    It's a great line for a populist leader.

The problem is that it's very hard to believe coming from Donald Trump, the guy who is ruthless in business, the guy who stiffs the small construction business owners by refusing to pay his bills in full.   Then tells them to sue him, knowing his battery of expensive lawyers can ruin them financially by dragging out a court case, so they give in and accept less than full payment.   But just this week, a judge turned this back on Trump.  A painting contractor who did a job for Trump was still owed $84,000 of the bill.   He finally sued Trump, and the judge just ordered Trump to pay up, plus in $300,000 of the contractor's legal fees That is the man who is now asking us to believe that he is the champion of the underdog, the forgotten little guy, the struggling family?

Don't be taken in by the con man and his pretty family.   This is nothing more than a sales pitch  -- but the risks are global and apocolyptic.


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