As Jon Favreau, a former speechwriter for Obama, wrote on Twitter, this was Trump’s "Nightmare in America" speech. The address had one goal, and one goal only: to persuade Americans that their country is a dangerous, besieged hellscape, and only Donald Trump can fix it.
And so Trump spoke of the "illegal immigrants with criminal records" who are "tonight roaming free to threaten peaceful citizens." He warned of the gangs, violence, and drugs "pouring into our communities." He invoked "the mothers and fathers who have lost their children to violence spilling across our border."
Perhaps the night’s ugliest moment came when he spoke of Sarah Root, a college student killed by a drunk driver who was also an unauthorized immigrant. "I’ve met Sarah’s beautiful family," Trump said. "But to this administration, their amazing daughter was just one more American life that wasn’t worth protecting. One more child to sacrifice on the altar of open borders."
For the record, almost 10,000 people were killed in America by drunk drivers in 2010 — the overwhelming majority of them by American citizens. Trump had neither answers for nor interest in their deaths.
And it is when you tug on these threads that Trump’s speech unspools and its grossness, and uselessness, becomes clear.
The speech actually elicited this response from Nicolle Wallace:
“You know, listening to this, I was struck by two things that I always believed during my two decades in the Republican politics,” she explained to NBC’s Lester Holt. “One, the voters always get it right. And two, the Republican Party that I worked for for two decades died in this room tonight.”
“We are now represented as a party by a man who believes in protectionism, isolationism and nativism,” Wallace continued. “And those are the forces that George W. Bush and, I belive, John McCain were most worried about during their times as the leaders of the Republican Party.”
And she was far from alone.
Donald Trump's acceptance speech boiled down to its key elements was that America is going to a hell in a handbasket despite what all those liberal media facts might tell you.
And the reason those facts don't matter is because everything that was accomplished these last eight years was only accomplished by some black guy, and everybody knows that only a white guy can fix America.
Specifically a white guy named "Donald Trump."
Update: From the "hit'em where it hurts" department, the TV ratings for Trump's acceptance speech were terrible.
Donald Trump received 400k less viewers than Mitt Romney did for his acceptance speech. Sad!— Ari Rabin-Havt (@AriRabinHavt) July 22, 2016
This will make far more difference to him than anything a pundit, historian, or fellow Republican might have to say about the convention. .Donald Trump has the lowest-rated final night of a convention since at least '04. https://t.co/m8SwfOEegS— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) July 22, 2016