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News Friday, Jul 22 2016

Donald Trump's Dark Demagoguery

Jul 22, 2016

Last night Donald Trump delivered the darkest acceptance speech of any party nominee in modern politics. Stoking fears with falsehoods, Trump was angry, predictably fact and policy free, and failed miserably to broaden his appeal.

Friday’s reactions were nearly unanimous in the adjective used to describe Trump’s speech–dark: 

  • “Given a chance to replace the empty sloganeering and self-aggrandizement of his primary campaign with solid proposals worthy of Americans’ trust, Mr. Trump made clear that he instead intends to terrify voters into supporting him, who will protect them from violence, a word that occurs over and over in his remarks.” New York Times Editorial Board, “Donald Trump’s Campaign of Fear
  • “It was the most disturbing, demagogic and deluded acceptance speech by any major party nominee in the modern political era. It’s no wonder so many Republicans — including Senator Ted Cruz of Texas and Ohio Governor John Kasich — are refusing to endorse Trump.  When the idea of “voting your conscience” becomes a source of division within a party, something is terribly wrong.” Bloomberg Editorial Board, “Donald Trump’s Dark Vision
  • “Donald Trump’s closing speech at the Republican convention was one of the most pessimistic pieces of political rhetoric in recent history. Most candidates, even in times of turmoil, try to make the case that hope is on the way… Trump constantly complained about the nation’s ills but failed to prove why Americans should entrust him to be commander in chief.” Josh Kraushaar, National Journal, “For Trump, It’s Not Morning In America Anymore
  • “With dark imagery and an almost angry tone, Mr. Trump portrayed the United States as a diminished and even humiliated nation, and offered himself as an all-powerful savior who could resurrect the country’s standing in the eyes of both enemies and law-abiding Americans.” Patrick Healy and Jonathan Martin, New York Times, “His Tone Dark, Donald Trump Takes G.O.P. Mantle
  • “The Republican nominee, who usually peppers speeches with improvised humor, used his nationally televised acceptance speech Thursdaynight to lay out a darker version of his core message. Trump described an America awash in blood and corruption that only he can prevent from sliding into the abyss.” Benjy Sarlin, NBC News, “Donald Trump Takes America on a Journey to the Dark Side
  • “But all that glitters is not sunny. Mr. Trump gave a grim, angry acceptance speech to close a grim, angry convention, casting America as a dystopian hellscape and himself as the only leader capable of saving it from murder, terrorism, financial ruin and an uncontrolled wave of immigrants.” James Poniewozik, New York Times, “A Donald Trump Speech Whose Sunny Spots Came Mostly From the Stage Lights
  • “But as the speech wore on, Trump quickly reverted to the angry, yelling monotone of Will Farrell’s ‘voice immodulation syndrome’ character from Saturday Night Live that characterized his prior teleprompter performances. And combined with the actual rhetorical content of this particular speech, it made for a long, depressing, angry night. By the time Trump was about 20 minutes into the speech, you were left with the impression that you lived in some third world hellhole and you never knew it before tonight.” Leon H. Wolf, Red State, “Trump’s Relentlessly Angry, Negative Speech About An Intrusive Government
  • “Rather than pivoting to the political middle with an uplifting address, Trump punctuated the turbulent four-day convention with a heavy speech with simple declarations. And he focused intensively on the alleged dangers posed by immigrants and refugees, showing that on the biggest stage of his campaign he would not shy away from rhetoric that many minority voters find repulsive.” Philip Rucker and David A. Fahrenthold, Washington Post, “Donald Trump positions himself as the voice of ‘the forgotten men and women
  • “In the history of democracies, there are numerous instances of authoritarian “strongmen” rising to power, and virtually all have based their appeal on a promise to restore order. Donald Trump clearly aspires to join this list, and, in one sense, his apocalyptic speech accepting the Republican nomination for President, on Thursday night in Cleveland, merely confirmed what we already know.” John Cassidy, The New Yorker, “Donald Trump’s Dark, Dark Convention Speech

Published: Jul 22, 2016

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