I don’t think I am the only one that felt like I was yelled at last night for over an hour by a grumpy old man, telling me how bad America is and how he alone can save it. Wow. It was truly horrific. But what gets me the most is how lots of Republicans loved a speech filled with so many non-Republican ideas. (But he is trying to shape the party into his own image, of course.) So did he sound like Nixon in 1968, as his own campaign foreshadowed? Not even close, as this piece by Rick Perlstein in New Republic makes brilliantly clear. Don’t miss this one, (I particularly love the last line) it is the best analysis and commentary on the speech that I’ve seen.
What boggles my mind the most, however, is how some of the delegates last night kept saying that Trump sounded like Reagan. Um, no. If they think that, they were clearly not listening to Ronnie, or were too young at the time, or have selective memory (or probably all three). There was no visionary “City on a Hill” in that speech, and Reagan had an inspiring faith in all Americans and the American spirit to solve our problems, not himself alone. I can’t imagine in my wildest dreams Ronald Reagan EVER saying a line like “I alone can fix it.”
My favorite line of the night came from CNN’s Van Jones: “This wasn’t Nixon, it was George Wallace, except that Wallace delivered it better.” (And might I add, with more biting wit).
No wait, I take that back. My favorite line of the night actually came from Triumph the Insult Comic Dog: “What about these rumors that Trump wants to leave NATO for a younger, hotter alliance?”
This may change almost immediately after I post this, but word is that it looks like Clinton is going to pick Virginia Senator Tim Kaine as her VP (he is a centrist that has a history of working on bipartisan efforts. We definitely need that). I do not know how much help he would actually be to her ticket, but as a Civil War historian I have always liked the guy. As mayor of Richmond he sponsored an official apology for the city’s role in the slave trade. As governor, he refused to release an official proclamation recognizing Confederate History month, and publicly criticized his successor when that governor did so without any mention of slavery in the proclamation. As as senator, he worked very hard to get funding for battlefield preservation in Virginia and is known to be a history lover that has spent much time promoting and visiting the state’s historic sites (not to mention that he was sworn in as governor at Colonial Williamsburg). Does all this make him a great VP choice? Not necessarily, but it does make me like the guy.
Instead of posting another video from the Historians on Donald Trump collection, I think I will leave you this Friday with some happy news: Hamilton star Lin -Manuel Miranda is going on Drunk History to explain the Burr/Hamilton duel. This should be fantastic!