I cannot summon the words to adequately report on Donald J Trump’s speech tonight before his partisan followers in Phoenix Arizona. He had gone there to connect with his base, to reassure himself that he is adored and supported by all truly right thinking Americans at a time he is smarting from the outpouring of criticism he has gotten over his comments on the Charlottesville episode, at a time he senses he is losing the public en large in a way that may be fatal to his presidency.
Well, if the Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell is privately saying as reported that he doubts the Trump presidency can survive, Trump himself gave a performance tonight that strongly supports McConnell’s assessment.
Monday night, Trump spoke to the war in Afghanistan. His speech was a collection of cliches in search of a policy. Whereas Theodore Roosevelt defined his foreign policy as one of speaking softly and carrying a big stick, Trump spoke loudly but carried a handful of kindling. Still, it was an attempt at serious discussion of a national problem.
Tonight, Donald J Trump simply lost it. His theme was one of hate and division, one of circling the wagons and lashing out at his enemies. He excoriated the press to whom he devoted the better part of twenty minutes, saying the press, dishonest as a group and totally unfair to him, hates America and wants the Country to fail. He attacked the two Republican Senators from Arizona (particularly John McCain), the Democrats, of course Hillary Clinton.
He spent about half an hour replaying Charlottesville, reading back his own words except for the words that revealed his dance with the deviltry of Nazi and White Supremacy bigotry. Does he not think that video tape exists of all the original words? Does he think it doesn’t matter? Or does he just think with his base he can get away with any lie?
You must watch this speech for yourself. Perhaps you can find the words to describe a man unhinged, out of control, egging the crowd on to join him in his hatreds, perhaps mentally ill. Watch it yourself, watch the hate, the arrogance, the ignorance. Examine the jut of his jaw as he turns his face upward and to one side, his eyes wild with egomaniac contempt for those he called out to condemn.
He said he would shut down the Government if necessary to get his Wall for our Southern border. He said no president in the history of our Country had accomplished more in the first seven months than he has. Was that a laugh I heard from a grave at Hyde Park? He lied about so many things that I gave up taking notes.
But the thing that is most frightening is that we were not watching some man who had lost control, gone round the bend in a wild public display of mind-boggling incivility and street brawling-like chaos.
We were watching the President of the United States speak to the Country and the World.
Donald J Trump must be removed from the Presidency!