Donald Trump wants me to be afraid. He succeeded, big league.
Donald Trump’s acceptance speech terrified me.
To be fair, it was Mr. Trump’s intent to terrify me. It was an hour-long diatribe of how terrified we all should be about everything going on in the country. Terrified about an insidious crime wave sweeping the country. Terrified about the hordes of criminals swarming over the border. Terrified about Muslims coming to invade the country and install Sharia Law. Terrified about an economy so ravaged that we are probably eating our own shoes just to survive… (hold on to tight to your Curry’s tonight!)
But his speech didn’t terrify me in the way he probably intended. It frightened me because it was the kind of speech I would expect to see in a historical film about the rise of fascism in early 20th Century Europe or from some Banana Republic dictator.
His message was clear: Be afraid, and only I can save you.
This article from Politico sums up my thoughts quite well:
In this speech, we have finally seen the answer to the perplexing question of just what political philosophy Donald Trump embraces. It is Caesarism: belief in a leader of great strength who, by force of personality, imposes order on a land plagued by danger. If you want to know why Trump laid such emphasis on “law and order” — using Richard Nixon’s 1968 rhetoric in a country where violent crime is at a 40-year low — it is because nations fall under the sway of a Caesar only when they are engulfed by fear. And the subtext of this acceptance speech was: be afraid; be very afraid.
Read more: http://www.politico.com/magazine...
“I alone can fix it!”
“I AM YOUR VOICE!”
These sound like quotes from the supreme leader of a YA dystopian novel, but here they were coming out of the mouth of the official nominee of the Republican Party for President. The entire presentation gave off a “Hunger Games” vibe, down to the massive display with 20 or so digital flags waving hauntingly behind him.
But even more than the speech itself, I am terrified by how well-received it was by some: INSTANT POLL: Trump’s speech was a hit with voters
Overall, 57% of viewers said they had a “very positive” reaction to Trump’s speech. Meanwhile, 18% said they were “somewhat positive” and 24% said it had a “negative effect.”
This is confirming my unfortunate suspicion that many people in this country don’t really want a president, they want an emperor. In his entire speech, Trump did not outline a single policy or strategy of how he would accomplish any of the feats he promised. It was one empty platitude and hollow proclamation after another as has been the case the entire campaign.
In analyzing the speech I found 22 instances of the phrase “we will” and 15 instances of the phrase “I will”. Here are a few examples:
“Together, we will lead our party back to the White House, and we will lead our country back to safety, prosperity, and peace. We will be a country of generosity and warmth. But we will also be a country of law and order.”
But his supporters will join our movement, because we will fix his biggest issue: trade. Millions of Democrats will join our movement because we are going to fix the system so it works for all Americans.
An attack on law enforcement is an attack on all Americans. I have a message to every last person threatening the peace on our streets and the safety of our police: when I take the oath of office next year, I will restore law and order our country.
This new wealth will improve the quality of life for all Americans — We will build the roads, highways, bridges, tunnels, airports, and the railways of tomorrow. This, in turn, will create millions more jobs. We will rescue kids from failing schools by helping their parents send them to a safe school of their choice.
My opponent would rather protect education bureaucrats than serve American children. We will repeal and replace disastrous Obamacare. You will be able to choose your own doctor again. And we will fix TSA at the airports! We will completely rebuild our depleted military, and the countries that we protect, at a massive loss, will be asked to pay their fair share.
We will take care of our great Veterans like they have never been taken care of before.
I pledge to never sign any trade agreement that hurts our workers, or that diminishes our freedom and independence. Instead, I will make individual deals with individual countries.
To all Americans tonight, in all our cities and towns, I make this promise: We Will Make America Strong Again.
We Will Make America Proud Again.
We Will Make America Safe Again.
And We Will Make America Great Again.
In all this bluster there is a lot of talk of doing things, but not much explaining how they will be done. “How” must not be a word in Trump’s vocabulary or that of his followers.
I wonder, when asked “how?”, do Trump supporters cower in fear like a vampire presented with a crucifix?
So congratulations Mr. Trump, you succeeded in frightening me. You have me absolutely petrified that my fellow Americans are ready and willing to cede power over to an authoritarian dictator.
I guess we better brush up on our archery skills…
Originally published at www.quora.com.