Prepare to be horrified. (Gettysburg Edition).


Yeah, his Gettysburg speech would fit in with the rest of the basket of deplorables:

The world still judges Lincoln by his Gettysburg Address. Now, it may judge Donald Trump the same way—but with strikingly different results.

On Saturday, Trump spoke to supporters in the small Pennsylvania town where, a century and a half before, Americans met in battle. It was a speech that, as much as any in this campaign, offered the very best of Trump, underscoring why so many Americans are drawn to his candidacy. It also offered the very worst.

He began by invoking Lincoln’s fight against division, and framed his run as dedication to something larger than himself. “When I saw the trouble that our country was in, I knew I could not stand by and watch any longer. Our country has been so good to me, I love our country, and I felt I had to act.”

He proceeded to denounce the ways that Washington and Wall Street have “rigged the rules of the game against everyday Americans,” from the one in five households where no one has a job, to the inner cities. And he closed with a clear, bullet-pointed plan for action, as a contract with American voters, asking them “to rise above the noise and the clutter of our broken politics, and to embrace that great faith and optimism that has always been the central ingredient in the American character.”

In between, though, that optimism curdled into bitter resentment. Trump asked Americans not to trust the machinery of their democracy, raising the specter of massive voter fraud without offering evidence to sustain that charge. He said his rival “should have been precluded from running for the presidency of the United States,” doubling down on his criminalization of political difference. He denounced massive corruption, fulminating against his enemies, foreign and domestic.

The speech’s most remarkable passage, though, sounded both notes simultaneously. Trump inveighed against the concentration of power in media conglomerates, offering himself in the mold of earlier trust-busting presidents. But he singled out those outlets which have been personally critical of him, as well as the women whose stories they have aired, promising to sue them all. And he painted himself as a victim of elites, just as much as ordinary Americans. “If they can fight somebody like me, who has unlimited resources to fight back, just look at what they can do to you—your jobs, your security, your education, your health care, the violation of religious liberty, the theft of your Second Amendment, the loss of your factories, your homes, and much more.”

It hardly bears saying—but Donald Trump is struggling to counter the stories of women who have stepped forward to accuse him of groping them. That is not what has cost Americans their factories, their health care, or their homes.

The rancid resentment that animated the heart of Trump’s speech would have been remarkable no matter where he delivered it. But it forms a particularly stark contrast with the Gettysburg addresses of others who have held the office he now seeks.

You can read the rest at the Atlantic.

Be the first to comment

Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.