On Donald Trump’s acceptance speech of doom

Presidential candidate Donald Trump’s acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention was as surreal as it was horrifying; portraying the current state of affairs in the United States as utterly bleak, the passion Trump showed when vowing to restore “law and order” in January 2017 was matched only by the excitement he showed while slandering immigrants and refugees. He baselessly blamed Hilary Clinton for nearly every single crisis in the Middle East, claiming her legacy is one of “death, destruction and weakness.” But, per usual, he failed to follow up even one of his insults with a solution.

Trump’s strategy to obscure the fact that he has absolutely no understanding of international affairs whatsoever is to regurgitate single lines of basic analysis while vowing that he will be a panacea for the world’s ills. He lambasted President Obama for failing to follow through on his “red line” in Syria, noting that when he drew it “the whole world knew it meant nothing.” His criticism of President Obama on this was particularly absurd given that only one day prior to the RNC, Trump publicly confirmed to the New York Times that he would consider abandoning certain NATO member states should they be confronted with an invasion by Russia, noting – in response to a question about defending the sovereignty of Estonia, Latvia or Lithuania – that he would only come to their defense if the states had “fulfilled their obligations to us.” Trump would never support an intervention sparked by a mass atrocity against civilians in Syria or anywhere else; he has already confirmed he is uncertain he would even defend our own stated allies.

Not original

Further, his criticism of President Obama on Syria is not an original or particularly astute one. Anyone who has watched the bloody Syrian crisis unfold is fully aware that the administration’s handling of it has dealt a blow to US credibility in the region. But there is absolutely no likelihood that Trump would have even considered confronting the Russian-backed Assad regime in Syria, especially given that his adoration of Vladimir Putin is well-documented.

Trump’s hideous nationalism predictably punctuated his entire speech yesterday. He reiterated his calls for a ban on immigration from “any nation that has been compromised by terrorism,” and for the construction of a massive border wall. No one is certain what precisely a ban on immigration from nations “comprised by terrorism” would look like - perhaps not even Trump himself; he just knows he wants it and it will make the entire United States safer. It is with this issue, too, that Trump demonstrates a staggering lack of understanding of the current wave of terrorism plaguing the West; will he move to ban people from countries with a disproportionately high number of foreign fighters engaged in battles abroad? Or will he just ban people from countries where ISIS control large swathes of territory? It is likely he doesn’t even know.

Despite how loud and shrill Trump is, his voice will never be anyone’s but his own

Brooklyn Middleton

Meanwhile, despite that Trump has continuously vilified anyone and everyone who is not like him – especially Mexicans and Muslims - he made a particularly grotesque remark yesterday about a young woman who was killed by a drunk driving undocumented immigrant. He referred to the victim as, “one more child to sacrifice on the altar of open borders.” It was a despicable remark indicating a trend of violence that there is no such evidence of. We cannot become desensitized to such incendiary rhetoric.

Ultimately, the entire speech was predicated on the notion that America remains on the brink of collapse due to nefarious actors abroad and on our own soil. The speech reiterated the fact that Trump has to continue keeping his supporters in a state of manufactured panic or they may begin demanding actual policy outlines.

Perhaps the most outrageous lie Trump attempted to tell the US was that he speaks for the American people. “I am your voice,” he twice bellowed. Despite how loud and shrill Trump is, his voice will never be anyone’s but his own.

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Brooklyn Middleton is an American Political and Security Risk Analyst currently based in New York City. She has previously written about U.S. President Obama's policy in Syria as well as Bashar al-Assad's continued crimes against his own people. She recently finished her MA thesis on Ayatollah Khomeini’s influence on the Palestinian Islamic Jihad militant group, completing her Master's degree in Middle Eastern Studies. You can follow her on Twitter here: @BklynMiddleton.
 

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:51 - GMT 06:51
Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not reflect Al Arabiya English's point-of-view.
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