Donald Trump is making his case for a second term, and like the last two times he ran for president, Trump is relying on a doom-and-gloom rhetoric.
“I don’t think there’s ever been a darkness around our nation like there is now,” Donald Trump said during a speech that spoke of an “invasion” of migrants” and COVID “hysteria.”
More of the same
CNN is reporting that ‘Trump is explaining exactly how wild and extreme his second term would be’ and citing an escalation in rhetoric.
“The Republican front-runner’s stark speech raised the prospect of a second presidency that would be even more extreme and challenging to the rule of law than his first,” CNN reported. “His view that the Oval Office confers unfettered powers suggest Trump would indulge in similar conduct as that for which he is awaiting trial, including intimidating local officials in an alleged bid to overturn his 2020 defeat”
I don’t relish the prospect of a second Trump term – but I can’t say his rhetoric has been escalated or is more concerning than it has been in the past. Trump’s first inaugural address was dubbed the ‘American Carnage’ speech, and the thing was indicative of the rhetoric Trump had employed to get elected the first time.
“Mothers and children trapped in poverty in our inner cities, rusted-out factories, scattered like tombstones across the landscape of our nation, an education system flush with cash but which leaves our young and beautiful students deprived of all knowledge,” Trump said (to a crowd that was visibly smaller than Obama’s inauguration crowd). “And the crime and the gangs and the drugs that have stolen too many lives and robbed our country of so much unrealized potential. This American carnage stops right here and stops right now.”
What we’re hearing from Trump now is consistent with the way he’s been speaking since he entered national politics eight years ago.
Donald Trump flipping the script on threat to democracy
Democrats made the case in 2020 that Trump was a threat to democracy. The narrative worked and Trump was unseated. Now, to keep Biden in the Oval Office, Democrats are running back the Trump is bad for democracy messaging. But now Trump appears to be meeting the Dems halfway with similar warnings.
Referring to the Democrats, Trump said “it’s really a threat to democracy while they trample our rights and liberties every single day of the year. This is a big moment in our country because we’re either going to go one way or the other, and if we got the other, we’re not going to have a country left. We will fight together; we will win together and then we will seek justice together.”
Again, Trump’s rhetoric is not new. Trump has been accusing the Democrats of stealing elections or rigging elections for a long time. A central tenet of Trump’s political appeal is his disparagement of mainstream politics, his emphasis on a corruption that many Americans sense is real, but can’t quite point to tangible evidence of. Trump, similarly, had been unable to indicate tangible evidence of election interference.
But now, with four separate criminal cases open against Trump, the former, and aspiring future president, can point to tangible efforts to keep him out of office.
Harrison Kass is the Senior Editor and opinion writer at 19FortyFive. An attorney, pilot, guitarist, and minor pro hockey player, Harrison joined the US Air Force as a Pilot Trainee but was medically discharged. Harrison holds a BA from Lake Forest College, a JD from the University of Oregon, and an MA from New York University. Harrison listens to Dokken.