It was “Morning in America,” Reagan told us in 1984, but last night we heard a different description from Donald Trump. It’s “midnight in America” and the country is teetering on the abyss. Doom, gloom, and darkness at noon are in store for us unless we elect the One. Single. Person. who can solve it all personally. Don’t bother with the details; just lap up the bile and cheer for what remains of a major political party that was founded to oppose slavery.
Republican polling guru, Frank Luntz, predicted a large post-convention bounce for Trump. That’s hardly a bold projection: every candidate gets a bounce. McCain pulled even with Obama following the 2008 GOP convention and Dukakis led Bush for a brief, shining moment in 1988.
Even though Trump did everything but warn us about the menace of illegal immigrant Zuni dolls, it’s too soon to tell whether last night’s trilogy of terror speech did more than solidify Trump’s existing base of support. There’s a large cohort of people who just want their id channeled, and don’t care that Trump’s people are likely to run the White House the way they ran the convention – badly and with malice aforethought.
A more likely outcome is the distinct possibility that support for Hillary Clinton gets a lot more enthusiastic. Trump’s truly in a dream world if he thinks last night’s performance will attract anyone who cares about the issues Bernie Sanders promoted throughout his campaign. As Bernie noted:
Democrats gather in Philadelphia next week (and LIA will be there!). After this week, I expect the party to be far more united than pundits – and Democrats – would have predicted just a few weeks ago. Will it be enough in November?