The Trump Party’s Festival of Fear

Mellon Auditorium in Washington, D.C., where a number of key speeches took place during the first night of the Republican Convention.

Some other takeaways from last night’s festival of fear:

  • Team Trump is deeply worried that voters will hold the president responsible for bungling the nation’s response to coronavirus pandemic. Much of the show was devoted to testimony from nurses and doctors attesting to Trump’s “decisive leadership” in combatting the virus. That was one of the night’s mantras, alongside the equally implausible claim that Trump had built “the greatest economy the world has ever known” before the pandemic.
  • Racially tinged cultural themes, especially law and order, will again be front and center. Speaker after speaker accused Democrats, falsely, of wanting to “defund the police.” Mark and Patricia McCloskey, the St. Louis couple charged with pointing a gun at protesters, warned that “your family will not be safe in the radical Democrats’ America.” For good measure, they accused Joe Biden and the Democrats of “encouraging anarchy and chaos on our streets,” scheming to deprive people of their gun rights and “abolish the suburbs by ending single family zoning.”
  • In lieu of a governing philosophy and agenda, the Trump Party has a laager mentality. It feels culturally besieged and is held together only by a visceral hatred of the “liberal” media, Democrats and what America is becoming — a multiethnic democracy no longer dominated by descendants of immigrants from northern Europe. It exists not to govern — the party didn’t even bother to produce a platform — but to keep its enemies from governing.



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Progressive Policy Institute

Progressive Policy Institute

Radically Pragmatic. We seek to advance progressive, market-friendly ideas that promote American innovation, economic growth, and wider opportunity.