Monday, July 25, 2016

Forum: What Was Your Reaction To Trump's Acceptance Speech?

Every week on Monday, the Council, members of the Watcher's Council Community and our invited guests weigh in at the Watcher's Forum, short takes on a major issue of the day, the culture, or daily living. This week's question: What Was Your Reaction To Trump's Acceptance Speech?

 Stately McDaniel Manor : Donald Trump’s Convention acceptance speech embodied everything I like about him, and everything I fear could easily derail his campaign and allow Hillary Clinton, the most hateful, angry and corrupt harridan imaginable, to seize the White House at a time when the Supreme Court, and the future of Western Civilization are up for grabs.

I suspect Trump’s popularity comes from his willingness to say, loudly and even a little crudely and clumsily, what so many Americans think and feel. There is no politically correct filter there. He is a self-made man, a genuine American success story, and he does get things done when others can’t. His deal-making skills may be of great value, as might his stubbornness and self-assurance.

But what scares me more than a little are the same things, and more. His speech was ridiculously long. People inexperienced in public speaking often try to throw everything into every speech as though it’s the only chance they’ll ever get. Some just love the sound of their own voice, even though they, like Trump, tend to endlessly repeat themselves, and fill their speeches with verbal fillers, particularly when they speak without notes or a teleprompter.

Trump also tends not to focus on the issues of the moment, and flies off on tangents, particularly when he thinks someone has personally slighted or attacked him just as he did today when he went after Ted Cruz. He earlier tweeted that Cruz’s failure to endorse him was no big deal. He should have left it there and looked magnanimous, but nooooo! He just has to go after people personally, and when he does, he runs his mouth and might say anything. If he can’t drop that habit, he won’t become president. And if he does it as president, that’s all he’ll be doing. George W. Bush had that part of presidential temperament right. He knew everyone and their dog would go after him, and he just let them have at it. To do otherwise, elevates ankle biters to the level of President of the United States.

Trump has to learn, and very soon, to stay on message. He can do it without becoming wooden and inflexible. Learning to prioritize, to focus on what is most important, is an essential adult skill that Trump has seemingly yet to master. Being outrageous is cute and endearing for a time, but eventually, presidents have to identify big problems, explain how they are going to solve them, and do it.

We’ve had eight years of Barack Obama’s personal references. Today after the attack in Munich, I heard him on radio saying he knew nothing about what happened, but proceeded to rattle on anyway mouthing meaningless platitudes that did nothing to suppress terrorism or further international relations. Sometimes presidents accomplish most by saying least. A trumpian version of that kind of meaningless twaddle will get old very fast. We really don’t need to hear from the president every day, about everything that happens, and when we do, we quit listening. He becomes the boy that cried wolf, and isn’t heard or believed when it really matters.

It’s time for Donald Trump and his advisors to sit down and lay out a coherent plan for the rest of the campaign. That plan has to include focus on specific issues, particularly those on which Hillary is uniquely vulnerable--there are more than enough of those--Trump’s solutions and how he’ll implement them, and little or nothing else.

One other important issue: someone needs to whack Trump upside the head and convince him the President can’t “make” anything happen alone. Donald Trump, businessman, can do that; Presidents can’t. They can set agendas, cajole, guide, maneuver, use the moral bully pulpit for good and to support the Constitution. He has to learn how to play the political game for the benefit of America.

“I’ll make America great again, “ “I’m the only one that can do it,” is meaningless without answers about how that’s going to happen, and after the conventions, people are going to demand those answers. If Trump can’t provide them, if he can’t incorporate presidential demeanor without abandoning the personal qualities that have thus far inspired so many, enough people are going to go with the devil they know to elect Hillary.

Always, it’s important to remember if it’s not close, Democrats can’t win through vote fraud. We’re going to see unprecedented vote fraud in this election. Trump and the Republican National Committee need to be very concerned, and very focused, on that issue too.

The Razor : He scares the living daylights out of the Left, quite a few centrists and even a smattering of conservatives. Given the Left’s demonization of every Republican candidate since Nixon as a demagogue along the lines of, well, Nixon – it’s refreshing to actually have a candidate that lives up to their hateful rhetoric.

One thing’s for sure: if he becomes president the next 4 years are going to be interesting. Very interesting.

Laura Rambeau Lee, Right Reason : Donald Trump’s acceptance speech appealed to the concerns of many if not most Americans. He promised to be the law and order president and would keep us safe, build a wall to keep out illegal immigrants, and return jobs to our country.

He recited a litany of the failures of the Obama administration and the Clinton State Department, which have made us less safe at home and is leaving us a less safe world. Under the current administration we have higher rates of unemployment in minority populations, poverty, people relying on food stamps, and crime in the inner cities.

In several attacks on his Democrat opponent, he said Hillary’s greatest accomplishment might be getting away with the many crimes she committed during her term as Secretary of State.

Trump explained that “nobody knows the system better than me, which is why I alone can fix it.” He promised the American people that “I am your voice.” While it would have been better to say “I hear your voices” hopefully that is merely a quibble over semantics. Time will tell.

When he becomes president Trump promised we will defeat the barbarians of ISIS and we will defeat them fast. It would have been preferable to have given some specific details of his plans to defeat this radical Islamic terrorist group whose barbarism is growing and reaching across the globe.

Trump’s speech was well delivered and well received. The main stream media outlets all focused on how dark it was but unless you have not been paying attention to national and world events we truly do find ourselves in a dark place.

I look forward in the coming months to hear more substantive comments on exactly what his plans entail and how Trump will Make America Great Again.

I reserve my concerns that Trump is just another big government politician. He appears to believe he alone can do all the things he promises. Hopefully that is just ego, for if that were the case we no longer live under the laws of our constitutional republic; a Constitution which provides a balance of powers to keep despots in check.

GrEaT sAtAn"S gIrLfRiEnD : The speech hit mostly high notes: the country is on the wrong track.

Crime and violence are serious concerns. Trump promised to be a "law and order" president, specifics to come. Many believe race relations have deteriorated since 44 took office. Cops are under attack. Poor kids are trapped in failing public schools and Democrats won't let them escape. Trump promises school choice.

Terrorism is on the rise at home and overseas. Instead of focusing on battle readiness, our depleted military focuses on goofy fakebelieve stuff like Climate change or worse, the inclusion of transgender and women soldiers. Veterans are not being adequately cared for.

Bad trade deals are notorious for helping certain elements at the expense of the country and Democrat policies are the reason for the sorry shape the nation is in.

JoshuaPundit : Honestly, I'd give the speech a B++ if there is such a thing. By that I mean it was a really good speech with some flaws.

I've always loved hearing Donald Trump speak. His rallies didn't involve scripted, jowl shaking oratory but a sort of down to earth conversation between him and say, 30,000 people. He was so relaxed, so comfortable in his own skin it was almost eerie. Unlike most pols, he wasn't talking at them, but with them. He'd come up to the podium, take that sheet of folded paper out of his pocket and have at it. He'd get the talking points out at each spot and say what needed saying, but he'd mix them in with anecdotes about the campaign, or whatever else was on his mind, and there were always a few jokes at his own expense. And then there was the impromptu audience responses, like singing along to your favorite singer's hit songs. Going to his rallies was fun!

Trump's acceptance speech was different. The content was just fine, and it mirrored what a lot of Americans are concerned about right now, with outreach to a lot of groups who Trump is going to get more votes from than most people think. I mean, if you were LGBT and in your right mind, would you vote for Hillary who wants to bring boatloads more unvetted Muslim 'refugees' into America and take away your guns too? Ditto if you're a young woman unless you enjoy the thought of being raped.

And his attack on Hillary Clinton was bone-crushing, which is why a lot of the Democrat media ignored it.According to pollster  Frank Luntz's Democrat and Republican focus groups, that part of Trump's speech was off the charts as far as approval went.

The problem was that it was about 20-25 minutes too long, and it needed to touch the bases in a more succinct, sound bitey way. It reminded me of some rock concerts where things start out energetic, hit a lull in the middle with the drum solo and then pep up for a high energy finish.

And that relaxed, natural Trump wasn't visible enough, although it was there. One of my favorite bits was when Trump was talking about the rigged system we have and how he was going to fix it and then looked at the audience, grinned, spread his hands out and said " And who would know better than me?"

It broke the audience up, and it broke me up watching the stream.

I also was a little uneasy about his refrain that he was going to fix this and that and 'we're gonna do it fast.' Government doesn't work that way, and especially not for this outsider taking on entrenched interests in both parties. Things need to be parsed, refined and done by consensus. That, by the way is why I've never been bothered by Trump's not getting into too many details but focusing on goals. That's how business gets done. The goals come first and the mechanisms come later after the pros and cons have been weighed and agreed on.

And while Ivanka was absolutely wonderful, I couldn't help wondering if a real fire breather like the Reverend Mark Burns as an opener might not have been better. The Rev reminds me of a clerical Howlin' Wolf, and that's some heavy duty praise. It would have gotten that crowd fired up like nobody's business and perhaps then The  Donald would have felt able to be a bit less strident in places.

All in all though, a really good job. And as we've seen in the past, it will likely get better because if nothing else, we've seen that Trump has an astonishing ability to recover, step back and learn from his mistakes.

Well, there you have it.

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