America's Most Critical Journal (since 1999)
Trump Shocker: “It was All a Joke”
13 July 2016
Donald Trump’s Acceptance Speech to Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, July 2016
Thank you, thank you.
It has been a long campaign. I have traveled the length and breadth of this country, at my own expense because I am worth billions, in order to receive your nomination for president of the United States. Tonight, thanks to you, is the successful culmination of all of my efforts and the fulfillment of my preconceived expectations. With your help and support, I have accomplished what I set out to do.
I stand before you tonight to declare: IT WAS ALL A JOKE.
Our forefathers believed that our form of government would survive only with the support of an enlightened electorate. I said repeatedly during the past year that our government was run by stupid people. I can now proclaim that the people who elect them are even more stupid.
I set out to prove that a brilliant, wealthy, celebrity could buy and bully his way to the presidency by saying the most outlandish and insulting things. Tonight, I am half-way in proving my hypothesis. The more outlandish I became, the more attractive I became to a large segment of the American people.
I could have probably chosen either political party with which to make my point but I chose the Republican Party because, since Newt Gingrich, their election strategies have been to question the honesty, morality, and patriotism, of their opponents; not their policy differences.
I have offered few policy proposals during the past year but it didn’t matter. I promised to build a wall and have someone else pay for it; I promised to deport 11 million people; I promised to exclude Muslims from entering the country; I promised to bomb our enemies and torture our captives. People cheered. If someone asked how I was going to accomplish these things, I simply belittled them.
I called my opponents liars; I questioned their manhood; I questioned their character; I questioned their birthright; I questioned their ethics; I called them dumb and stupid; I made fun of handicapped people; I cast aspersions on John McCain; I attacked Jeb with the cudgel of his brother George; I attacked Wall Street. The more obnoxious I became, the more people cheered and supported me.
To further prove my assertions that a large part of those who voted for me as a Republican had no idea of basic conservative Republican Party issues, I began to publically support programs that the Republican Party has opposed including raising taxes on the most wealthy, providing universal health care of some kind, supporting Planned Parenthood, expanding Social Security, being for abortion under some circumstances, I criticized free-trade agreements, I endorsed government negotiations with pharmaceutical companies. IT DID NOT MATTER. You people here tonight at the Republican Convention cheered me and voted for me. I wanted to shout, “Are you that F…king Stupid?”
I have been married multiple times, I have bragged about my sexual conquests with married and unmarried women, I am a lecherous old man, I have denigrated women, I support gambling in my hotels, yet, the evangelicals flocked to me. I showed my ignorance of the Bible in public and could not quote one verse from it by memory, but was embraced by conservative Christians whose goal is the same as conservative Muslims; to impose their beliefs on everyone else. I openly represent what the evangelicals say they are opposed to, yet they turn to me as a leader. WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON HERE?
Finally, I will not accept your nomination for this high office. As a group, you have shown that you have no principles, no grounded ideology, little respect for the government, or those who serve in it with your support, and a myopic view that simply magnifies your own self-interests.
IT WAS ALL A JOKE. But what scares the hell out of me, was how easy it was to pull off.
James C. Coomer is emeritus professor of political science and former Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs at Mercer University. He has held university teaching and administrative positions at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, from which he earned a Ph.D, the University of Houston-Clear Lake where he was the Associate Provost for Curriculum and Research, and at Mercer University. He is the author or editor of four books, including a collections of poems titled A Lifetime of Yesterdays, as well as numerous professional articles.