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28 Aug, 2020 05:22

‘Save the American dream’: Trump denounces riots, cancel culture and ‘failed political class’ in defiant RNC speech

‘Save the American dream’: Trump denounces riots, cancel culture and ‘failed political class’ in defiant RNC speech

Speaking at the finale of the Republican National Convention, President Donald Trump doubled down on American exceptionalism and once again painted himself as an outsider fighting the Democrats and the entrenched establishment.

The speech went on for over an hour, much longer than Joe Biden’s address a week ago at the Democratic convention. But whereas Biden spoke in an empty auditorium in Milwaukee, Trump spoke outside the White House, in the wilting heat of late summer in Washington, DC – and in front of more than a thousand people.

In the absence of a formal party platform, Trump defined the Republican position for 2020 as undoing the damage done by the establishment; defending law and order from mobs and anarchy; fighting ‘cancel culture’ and making American great(er) again.

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Though the tone of it was uneven – at times a campaign rally, at other times sounding like a State of the Union – and Trump was visibly running out of steam by the end, the underlying message was crystal clear.

Time and again, Trump hammered Biden and the Democrats on the difference between their accomplishments during decades in power, and his over just one term.

We have spent the last four years reversing the damage Joe Biden inflicted over the last 47 years.

Trump painted Biden and the Democrats as globalists beholden to China economically, destroying American jobs and industries, opening the borders and starting endless foreign wars – which he was trying to end. 

“How can Joe Biden claim to be an ally of the light, when his own party can’t even keep the lights on?” Trump joked, bringing up last week’s power outages in California – but it was also a dig at the theme of Biden’s speech last week, and the efforts by the media to accuse Republicans of being “dark and divisive.”

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“At no time before have voters faced a clearer choice between two parties, two visions, two philosophies, or two agendas,” Trump said. “This election will decide whether we save the American dream or whether we allow a socialist agenda to demolish our cherished destiny.”

Democrats, Trump argued, see America as a wicked nation that must be punished for its sins, with giving them power as the only path to redemption. Yet Republicans – and most Americans, he argued – look to god for salvation, not politicians.

America is not a land cloaked in darkness, America is a torch that enlightens the entire world.

Addressing the pandemic, Trump insisted that his administration was handling the coronavirus better than most countries, and that Biden’s proposed national lockdown was not a solution but rather a surrender to the virus. 

It was on the subject of law and order, however, that he brought out the truly big guns. If the Democrats want to stand with “anarchists, agitators, rioters, looters and flag burners,” that’s their choice, Trump said. The Republican party “condemns rioting, looting and arson we have seen in Democrat-run cities.”

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In Biden’s America, he argued, every city, suburb and town would look like Portland, where anarchists have laid siege to a federal courthouse and the center of the Democrat-run city for three months now, even after federal law enforcement left following a deal with local and state authorities.

In addition to painting the Democrats as lawless, Trump accused them of being repressive, seeking to make decent Americans live in fear of ‘cancel culture’.

The far Left wants to coerce you into saying what you know to be false and scare you out of saying what you know to be true.

Trump offered a contrasting, romantic version of American history, from the first settlers and pioneers to the campaign promise the US would land the first woman on the Moon and be the first to plant the flag on Mars. 

Reaching out to Americans who have previously supported the Democrats – many of whom have been featured over the previous three days of the RNC, Trump declared that Republicans welcomed “anyone who believes in the greatness of America.”

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Throughout, Trump cast himself as the outsider who left behind his comfortable life to battle the “failed political class” in Washington. He has done so with mixed success, dealing with brutal political intrigue, hostile media, endless lawfare, congressional gridlock, the ‘Russiagate’ probe and even an impeachment. But as he himself quipped, pointing to the White House, “we’re here and they’re not.”

Even after four years of that, and an hour in the brutal heat of an August evening, Trump seemed ready, even eager, for more. Democrats may have believed the media and the polls to think this election was in the bag, but it isn’t – not by a long shot.

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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.