Nel's New Day

July 22, 2016

‘Making America Afraid Again’ – Trump’s Post-Truth Speech

Filed under: Presidential candidates — trp2011 @ 10:11 PM
Tags: ,

“Yes we can” is gone. “Only I can fix it” has arrived with Donald Trump’s acceptance speech at the 2016 GOP convention. Unfortunately, he doesn’t say how he’ll follow through with any of his promises including the combination of the biggest tax cut promise of any candidate and huge investments in “roads, highways, bridges, tunnels, airports, and the railways of tomorrow.” And he said nothing about finding jobs for people. The GOP convention that focused on hate for three days culminated in a dystopian world of fear and doom as Trump drew an authoritarian (or fascist) picture of the United States.

The focus was Nixonian “law and order,” entitlement of whites through police black oppression. The subtext of “those others” means people of color and Muslims. A guest on the Thom Hartmann program explained that Trump uses Nixon’s FIBS—abuse of fear, ignorance, bigotry, and sneering—a method of converting Democrats in the deep South to Republicans. Trump promised that “crime and violence” will “come to an end beginning on January 20th, 2017.”

CLEVELAND, OH - JULY 21:  Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump delivers a speech during the evening session on the fourth day of the Republican National Convention on July 21, 2016 at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump received the number of votes needed to secure the party's nomination. An estimated 50,000 people are expected in Cleveland, including hundreds of protesters and members of the media. The four-day Republican National Convention kicked off on July 18.  (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

(Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

At the beginning of his 76-minute speech, a series of scary falsehoods, Trump said he would “present the facts plainly and honestly” in “a straightforward assessment of the state of our nation.” That was the first lie he told. Without lying, he can’t get people to vote for him. Be afraid, be very afraid—of Democrats, immigrants, refugees, regulations, crime, and everything else except the huge deficits that his massive tax cuts will cause. Here are just a few of his lies:

Crime: Rates are going down, not up—totally opposite from the focus of Trump’s speech. The violent crime rate in America is now lower than any time during the last three decades, dropping one-half since 1980 from 10.2 to 4.5 per 100,000 people. When Jake Tapper asked Paul Manafort asked about FBI statistics showing this, Trump’s campaign manager said that he didn’t know what statistics Tapper is “talking about” and that “the FBI is suspect.” The data on crime rates come from state and local law enforcement. Statistics are inconvenient for Trump’s message so he also denies rates for unemployment and uninsured as well as public-opinion polls and climate science.

Homicides: The murder rate that Trump cited last year is far below the 1960s and 1970s and below any time in the 1990s.

Police Deaths: Trump claimed these have increased by 50 percent over the same time last year, but on-duty deaths of police officers is down one percent in 2016 compared to the same time in 2015. This trending is near an historic low.

Religion: Expect to hear a lot about “the Johnson amendment” in the upcoming campaign as Trump placates evangelicals by promising to reverse the law that “threatens religious institutions with a loss of their tax-exempt status if they openly advocate their political views.” The law, signed by GOP President Eisenhower in 1954, prohibits tax-exempt groups from opposing or supporting candidates or political parties. The law does not focus on religious groups but on tax-exempt groups. If churches pay taxes, they can lobby for candidates. And they can still be involved in ballot measures. Trump supports a theocracy because it gets votes from evangelical Christians.

Unemployment: Trump’s claim about an increase in unemployed people ignores the population increase. Almost five million people have been added to the workforce since President Obama was inaugurated in January 2009.

Taxes: The United States is “one of the lowest-taxed industrialized countries, and middle-class households pay significantly lower tax rates than they did in 1996,” contrary to Trump’s claims, according to the conservative Wall Street Journal. Trump quotes statutory taxes for businesses, far above reality. Total taxes in the U.S.—federal, state, and local–totaled 26 percent in 2014, higher only than South Korea and Chile among wealthier nations. Trump’s tax cuts would average over $1 trillion a year and drive up the deficit.

Trade Deficit: The manufacturing trade deficit was $681 billion in 2015, not $800 billion, and many economists don’t find high trade deficits to be a bad thing.

National Debt: Much of this  is money is “debt held by the [U.S.]public,” money that the government owes to itself by borrowing from Social Security trust fund bonds and other ways of playing with federal monies. The debt has not doubled, as Trump claims, but has gone up about 50 percent.

Infrastructure: No one is happy with the nation’s infrastructure that the GOP has refused to improve, but the 17,000 U.S. airports still rank among the best in the world. If Trump wants better infrastructure, he should talk to his own party.

ISIS: Trump wants people to believe that “Hillary Clinton invented ISIS with her stupid policies,” but its roots go back to George W. Bush’s al-Qaida in 2004 and ISIL in 2006.

Rigged System: In an attempt to gin up hatred for Clinton from Bernie Sanders’ supporters, Trump compares himself to the former Democratic presidential candidate. When Sanders stopped his campaign, he had only 43 percent of 30 million votes, compared to Clinton’s 55 percent, which gave him only 1,894 total delegates. Nothing was rigged.

Immigration: Trump’s figure of “nearly 180,000 illegal immigrants with criminal records, ordered deported from our country … roaming free to threaten peaceful citizens” came from a letter from DHS to Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), whose speech writer also wrote Trump’s speech, that said the DHS does not have a definite number. DHS’ definition of “criminal” includes “illegal entry” and traffic offenses which don’t “threaten peaceful citizens.” He also claimed that “there’s no way to screen [Syrian] refugees in order to find out who they are or where they come from.” Again wrong, because vetting refugees takes years and requires overwhelming paperwork including birth certificates, passports—even old utility bills. It might be noted that the two recent police killings are by U.S.-born military veterans, not vetted refugees. As for Trump’s claim about an increase in immigrant families cross the border, many of them are coming in legally as they seek asylum. Immigration doesn’t shrink wages, as Trump claims, but increases them for most people in the U.S. who have a high school degree. It’s the GOP that shrinks wages.

Health Care: Trump’s plan to repeal The Affordable Care act would remove coverage from 21 million people. Since the law took effect, 87 percent of people with health insurance are satisfied with their choice of doctors, unlike Trump’s false complaint. Clinton is also correct that the statements about ineptitude for veterans were highly exaggerated for ideological reasons. The VA still offers some of the best health care in the nation if not the best.

Guns:  “My opponent wants to essentially abolish the Second Amendment,” said Trump in a flat-out lie. Clinton’s website has the statement that “weapons of war have no place on our streets,” but she never indicated she wants to eliminate the right to bear arms.

Nuclear Weapons: Iran is NOT “on the path to nuclear weapons” because the successful Iran deal has resulted in a 98-percent reduction of the country’s uranium stockpile. Thousands of centrifuges have been dismantled, and its reactor has been filled with cement. is dismantling much of Iran’s nuclear program.

Iran: Trump propagated the widespread myth that “the Iran deal … gave back to Iran $150 billion and gave us nothing.” The money has always belonged to Iran, not the United States, and the agreement covers closer to $35 to 65 billion. The deal has also made the world safer because Iran will have more trouble building nuclear weapons.

Household Income: Trump is off by $3,400 in his misrepresentation about a $4,000 drop in household incomes. The June median annual household income is $57,206, compared to 2026 dollars of $57,826.

LGBT Community: Trump struggled with pronouncing the initials “LGBTQ” as he promised to protect them in foreign lands. In the U.S., however, he promises to appoint Supreme Court justices to overturn marriage equality, supports state laws discriminating against LGBT people, and woos the most anti-LGBT leaders in the United States in his party that passed the “the most anti-LGBT platform in history.”

World Stability: Trump blames Hillary Clinton for President Obama’s foreign policy directives. She wasn’t in charge of making foreign policy decisions; the president was. In addition, the Obama administration has spent both terms struggling with the problems caused by the previous president, GOP George W. Bush, and his administration. Trump said that Libya was stable before Clinton. ISIS militants increased after the deposition of dictator Muammar Qaddafi, who massacred his people after uprisings, left a failed state. The same thing happened in Egypt after a revolution toppled dictator Mosni Mubarak, an act that followed political violence—not peace, as Trump claimed. Like the protests in those two countries, Syria’s bedlam began with the people’s opposition to dictator Bashar al-Assad, who declared war on them rather than lost control. Iraq’s chaos began in 2010 after George W. Bush’s agreement removed U.S. military from the country.

Clinton Emails: Trump lies when he says that Clinton “illegally” stored her emails on a private server, and the 33,000 emails she destroyed were personal emails. He has no proof that what Clinton “actually did” was far worse: it is simply a smear.

If listeners weren’t miserable or afraid before the speech, they were afterwards. That’s why the GOP delegates were seen slinking out of the convention center, not cheering for the possibilities of their party. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (R-MA) summarized Trump’s speech best: “He sounded like a dictator of a small country rather than a man who is running for the highest office of the strongest democracy on the face of the earth.”

If Trump gets his way, the U.S. may become one of those countries run by dictators.

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