IMAGE CREDIT: Fox News
“Our Convention occurs at a moment of crisis for our nation.”
Those words came from Donald Trump last night framing his sense of American doom. His vision imagines a dying America that only he can save. “I have joined the political arena so that the powerful can no longer beat up on people that cannot defend themselves. Nobody knows the system better than me, which is why I alone can fix it.”
What? That is one of the single most preposterous Trumpisms. He clearly out-did himself with that one. Read those words again: “which is why I alone can fix it.” Does he think he is Superman–creating a perception of gloom and doom that is just ripe for ‘The Donald’s” rescue?
In his speech, Trump also noted “Nearly Four in 10 African-American children are living in poverty, while 58% of African American youth are not employed.”
Here’s the question: Whether you are young or old, what is the value of having a job, if you can’t execute your responsibilities without getting shot by police? Exit the Cleveland bubble and enter the world of Charles Kinsey in Miami. He was the behavioral therapist who tried to lure an autistic patient back into his facility but was shot by a police officer in the process.
In his law and order rant of his speech, Trump’s sense of lawlessness, as expected, ignored the frightening cases of police shootings of unarmed black men. Contrast his speech to the message of President Obama in Dallas ten days ago at the funeral of slain police officers:
“I know that Americans are struggling right now with what we’ve witnessed over the past week. First, the shootings in Minnesota and Baton Rouge, and the protests, then the targeting of police by the shooter here — an act not just of demented violence but of racial hatred. All of it has left us wounded, and angry, and hurt. It’s as if the deepest fault lines of our democracy have suddenly been exposed, perhaps even widened. And although we know that such divisions are not new — though they have surely been worse in even the recent past — that offers us little comfort.
Faced with this violence, we wonder if the divides of race in America can ever be bridged. We wonder if an African-American community that feels unfairly targeted by police, and police departments that feel unfairly maligned for doing their jobs, can ever understand each other’s experience. We turn on the TV or surf the Internet, and we can watch positions harden and lines drawn, and people retreat to their respective corners, and politicians calculate how to grab attention or avoid the fallout. We see all this, and it’s hard not to think sometimes that the center won’t hold and that things might get worse.
I understand. I understand how Americans are feeling. But, Dallas, I’m here to say we must reject such despair. I’m here to insist that we are not as divided as we seem. And I know that because I know America. I know how far we’ve come against impossible odds. I know we’ll make it because of what I’ve experienced in my own life, what I’ve seen of this country and its people — their goodness and decency –as President of the United States. And I know it because of what we’ve seen here in Dallas — how all of you, out of great suffering, have shown us the meaning of perseverance and character, and hope.
When the bullets started flying, the men and women of the Dallas police, they did not flinch and they did not react recklessly. They showed incredible restraint. Helped in some cases by protesters, they evacuated the injured, isolated the shooter, and saved more lives than we will ever know. We mourn fewer people today because of your brave actions. “Everyone was helping each other,” one witness said. “It wasn’t about black or white. Everyone was picking each other up and moving them away.” See, that’s the America I know.
Mr. President, I hope you are right . I will lean on your words and hope that the America you know will prevail in one of its biggest challenges to come in November.