By Andrea Asuaje
BU News Service
Donald Trump accepted the Republican presidential nomination Thursday night, promising to lead the country “back to safety, prosperity and peace.”
Painting a picture of a nation in crisis, Trump blamed many of the country’s ills on Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.
He described her political legacy as “death, destruction and weakness.” While offering no solid specifics, he vowed to fix it all: Crime, immigration, national security, jobs, taxes, trade deals, health care, education, infrastructure even the long security lines at airports.
A year ago, Trump seemed like a presidential long shot. Even he seemed a bit surprised at the way it worked out, asking delegates at Cleveland’s Quicken Loans Arena, “Who would have believed this?”
Trump was introduced by his daughter, Ivanka, who said he has been a trailblazer for women and minorities in the workplace.
She described him as a builder and problem solver. “When my father says he will make America great again, he will deliver.”
Trump echoed that, promising to work for Americans who feel powerless. “I am your voice,” he said. Trump’s speech was long on promises, short on specifics. He declared himself the law and order candidate. “The most basic duty of government is to defend the lives of its own citizens,” Trump said. “Any government that fails to do so is a government unworthy to lead.”
Trump doubled down on his immigration policy. “We are going to build a great border wall to stop illegal immigration, to stop the gangs and the violence, and to stop the drugs from pouring into our communities.”
Trump’s speech ended a four day convention intended to showcase a unified party. At times, voters saw confusion and disagreement – the plagiarism dustup over Melania Trump’s speech and Texas Senator Ted Cruz’ refusal to endorse Trump.
Earlier this week, he rattled allies by saying he would not automatically come to the aid of a NATO member invaded by Russia. Thursday night he vowed to rebuild the military “and the countries that we protect, at a massive loss, will be asked to pay their fair share.”
Trump spoke for an hour and 15 minutes. The language was stark. The tone foreboding. The delivery consistent with a candidate who campaigns with bombast and belligerence. The delegates ate it up, interrupting with chants of “USA!” and “Build the wall!”
Trump closed his speech by thanking his family, particularly his parents, for instilling his work ethic and strong character. He closed by drawing one more difference between himself and Hillary Clinton.
“My opponent asks her supporters to recite a Three word loyalty pledge. It reads, ‘I’m with her.’ I choose to recite a different pledge. My pledge reads, ‘I’m with you.”