Gary Bauer / Jul. 23, 2016

The GOP Nominee Speaks

[Thursday] night, Donald J. Trump formally accepted the Republican Party's nomination for president of the United States. In doing so, he becomes the first major party nominee without elected political experience since General Dwight Eisenhower won the Republican nomination in 1952. To be clear, American Values does not endorse or oppose candidates political office. But given the historic nature of this election, I want to offer a few observations on the Republican nominee's address [Thursday] night.

[Thursday] night, Donald J. Trump formally accepted the Republican Party’s nomination for president of the United States. In doing so, he becomes the first major party nominee without elected political experience since General Dwight Eisenhower won the Republican nomination in 1952.

To be clear, American Values does not endorse or oppose candidates political office. But given the historic nature of this election, I want to offer a few observations on the Republican nominee’s address [Thursday] night.

Speaking To Main Street

Trump delivered his speech in his usual extravagant style, but his message was controlled and disciplined.

Trump’s address was a populist message aimed at working class Americans who feel left behind by the globalist, corporatist agenda. Trump made it clear he was speaking to these voters when he said:

“My message is that things have to change and they have to change right now. Every day I wake up determined to deliver a better life for the people all across this nation that had been ignored, neglected and abandoned.

"I have visited the laid-off factory workers, and the communities crushed by our horrible and unfair trade deals. These are the forgotten men and women of our country, and they are forgotten, but they will not be forgotten long. These are people who work hard but no longer have a voice. I am your voice!”

Reaching Out

Trump also made several direct appeals to minority voters. He said liberal policies had failed America’s inner cities “in every way and on every single level.” He focused much of his speech on crime and declared himself to be “the law and order candidate.”

Trump said, “The most basic duty of government is to defend the lives of its citizens. Any government that fails to do so is a government unworthy to lead.”

Trump also championed school choice, a popular idea with minority voters, saying, “We will rescue kids from failing schools by helping their parents send them to a safe school of their choice.”

He also attempted to appeal to minorities with his tough approach on immigration:

“Decades of record immigration have produced lower wages and higher unemployment for our citizens, especially for African-American and Latino workers. We are going to have an immigration system that works, but one that works for the American people.”

Speaking To Values Voters

Of particular interest to values voters, Trump clearly reiterated the kind of judges he would appoint. He said:

“We are also going to appoint justices to the United States Supreme Court who will uphold our laws and our Constitution. The replacement of our beloved Justice Scalia will be a person of similar views, principles and judicial philosophies. Very important. This will be one of the most important issues decided by this election.”

Trump thanked evangelicals for their “amazing support,” adding, “And I’m not sure I totally deserve it.”

Trump also said he would work to repeal the 1954 IRS amendment, passed by then-Senator Lyndon Johnson, that limited the ability of pastors to speak on political issues from the pulpit.

Reaction

The media’s reaction to Trump’s address was largely negative. “Dark.” “Vengeful.” “Extreme.” “Incendiary.” “Toxic.” Those were just some of the adjectives used to describe the tone and content of his remarks.

But given recent events — terrorist attacks and police assassinations — the public appears to be in no mood for happy talk. According to a recent Gallup survey, just 17% of Americans are satisfied with the state of the country.

Meanwhile, an instant reaction poll by CNN found that 75% of those who watched Trump’s speech had a positive reaction to it, and 73% felt the policies he outlined would move America in the right direction.

With the GOP convention over, attention now turns to the Democrats, who will kick off their convention next week in Philadelphia, where former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will make history as the first female major party nominee for president of the United States.

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