Thursday, July 28, 2016

Tracking the Presidential Election 2016, Part IX. Yawn. . . . who?. . . what parties?

I wasn't going to post another one of these until the conventions, but as the last one had such a specific title, and as I had already added it to address the news release on Hillary Clinton's email, I thought I should.

The motivating factor this time is that Donald Trump announced that Mike Pence will be his VP candidate.

Who, what. . . yawn. . . . 

Yeah, exactly.

He's the Governor of Indiana.  Oh, um.  okay then.  

And um. . .why exactly . . . ?"

Well, according to the New York Times:
In Mr. Pence, the presumptive Republican nominee has found a running mate with unimpeachable conservative credentials, warm relationships in Washington and a vast reservoir of good will with the Christian right. National Republican leaders, including the Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, and House Speaker Paul D. Ryan, had pronounced Mr. Pence an excellent choice in advance of Mr. Trump’s announcement.

Mr. Pence is viewed as a sturdy and dependable politician by Republicans in Indiana and Washington, and chided Mr. Trump for his proposal to bar Muslims from entering the United States, calling it “offensive and unconstitutional” in a Twitter post in December.
Well, yeah.   Okay.  It's dull and darned near non news, except in that he didn't pick any of the firebrands people were worried he would.  Maybe he's listening now to the GOP.

Well, maybe, but there's probably hardly any point. Way back when these threads started I noted that I thought Hillary Clinton would be the next President and the GOP would mess this election up.  They have, and this race is, I'm afraid, all over but for the shouting.

Which might explain why so many in the Republican Party are opting for the Dunkirk Option I described below.  That is, they're pulling away from the beach and retreating, trying to save what they can.  Lots of Republicans have been quiet.  

None of which explains why the platform this year seems set to alienate those GOP members who were on the fence.  For example, Wyoming Senator John Barasso managed to preside over the drafting of a document that people here will seek to whack him with next time he's up for reelection.  Come on, Doctor John, you know that Wyomingites overwhelming oppose transferring Federal lands to the states.  What the crap where you thinking putting that into the platform. Geez.

Well, at least on that, Trump is far to the left of his own party platform.  And actually not only on that issue.  Not that it matters, the race is over and the only real question is how bad it will be for the GOP.  Indeed, at this point, it's legitimate to ask if the Republican Party will actually survive this election. There's some reason to doubt it.

Well, while this race is over, except for the shouting, one thing it has done is to revive the interest in third parties for the first time in a really long time.  Lots of Republicans are pondering jumping ship.  Others feel like they've already been pushed overboard and are swimming towards new ships. Some Democrats aren't too happy with the wax figure Boomer figurine they're running for that matter, and are also pondering the same.

So what all is out there?

First, let's list the two big parties so we've done our job.


Democratic Party:  Hillary Clinton (presumptive).

Republican Party:  Donald Trump and Mike Pence (presumptive).


Yikes, so what else is out there?  We won't look at them all, and there are a zillion of them, but only the few that might be worth looking at in one way or another.


The Libertarians haven't picked their nominee yet and have several individuals running.  However, Gary Johnson is widely presumed to be the nominee for the party.  Johnson was a Republican governor of New Mexico.

The Libertarians appeal to the libertarian wing of the GOP, so Johnson has had some hope that he might win.  He won't, but he might do better than he otherwise would have.  So while the Libertarian Party can expect to go down in flames, it won't be a big of flame out as normal.

Libertarians stand for freedom in a fairly extreme sense. So they're hard left liberal on some things and far right conservative on others.  To the extent that they appeal to GOP voters, they're often single issue voters.  Rarely do they appeal to the rank and file.  Not too many GOP voters hold the same view that Libertarians do on life issues or on social issues and therefore this party will tank in the general election, but it will do better than usual by picking up some disgruntled Republicans and, on a local level, by running some disgusted real Republicans.

This party is widespread enough that its actually considered a "major" political party by Wikipedia, based on it being organized in all fifty states.

Green Party.

Yes, the US has a Green Party. 

The Greens are a party that seeks the love of Bernie backers as they are part of his natural base.  I suspect that most Green members snuck out and vote for Bernie.  Jill Stein is their candidate.  Even the website of their candidate makes their Berniesque nature pretty evident, except they're to the left of Sanders.

Stein hasn't been officially nominated yet and is the presumptive nominee.  Her campaign is doomed but, as she's a long time hard core activist, she likely doesn't care.  I doubt that more than a handful of Democrats will cross to vote for her showing that the Democrats have done a better job than the Republicans of keeping their house in order.  They have an unpopular candidate, but the unhappy really have nowhere else to go.  Indeed, their option is just to stay home in November.

Like the Libertarians, Wikipedia considers the Greens a major US party.

Constitution Party

The Constitution Party is a hyper conservative party to the right of the GOP.  A year like this has to be a little surreal for members of this party, but perhaps nearly every year is for that matter.

It's positions are generally conservative, but they are also mixed in with a theological view of the country in that they cite to the Bible as a foundational text to some extent at they believe that the US was founded as a Christian nation.

It's held its convention in Salt Lake City already, and nominated Darrell Castle and Scott Bradley to its ticket.  Castle is a lawyer from Tennessee.

In a year such as this, it has to be the hope of this party to pick up conservatives that are disaffected with the GOP, but we're not hearing very much about it.

American Solidarity Party

What, what's that?

The American Solidarity Party is a new party, founded in 2011, that's a true American Christian Democratic Party. Really, this is the first time the US has had one.  It's motto, however is the less than inspiring  "Common Good, Common Ground, Common Sense".

This party is truly unique, in the American context, in that its quite conservative but not at all in the traditional mold.  It stands no chance whatsoever, but its platform is unusual in that it would be strongly appealing to traditional social conservatives, but not necessarily to libertarians.  Indeed, it probably appeals to Sanders voters on some things, such as immigration issues and economics.  On economics, it's truly unique as it espouses Distributism.

It's nominee for the 2016 race is Dr. Amir Azarvan, an Iranian American professor who is a convert to Orthodoxy.  There's no earthly way that Dr. Azarvan can win this election, but at 37, and as a professor who writes heavily on theological issues from an Orthodox prospective, he's on the far edge of unique.  His running mate Mike Maturen is a professional speaker.

Exit stage left. . . or right.

Well, there are a lot more, including the Socialist Party (parties) and the Communist Party, none of which have any chance.  Indeed,the Communist Party USA, a US political party since 1919, doesn't appear to be running a candidate this year and its chairman has actually come out in support of Hillary Clinton, an endorsement she no doubt was not seeking.  In listing these parties we have listed the most interesting ones, and the ones that might pick up a little, but only a little, traction this weird election year.

The more likely result is that the GOP will implode after the race and then start to rebuild.  Unless we simply assume a monumental level of obstinacy, there will be a new GOP in 2018.  There will have to be. But, because of what's occurred, the country in 2020 will not be the one we are living in now.  The GOP failure this year will cement in place some changes that President Obama brought about late in his term, if not permanently, for a very long time.  The GOP's ignoring of the promises it made to its base will come back to it in the worse way and the entire country will be the worse for it, as in this election the voice of traditional conservatives is not really going to be heard.  Indeed, many have hit the bunker already, saving what they can, and for those who embraced Trump in this run, the question will ultimately be to what extent did they damage themselves by doing so. 

First Commentary Followup.  July 18, 2016.

 Delegates to the 1919 Labor Party Convention, the first such convention that party had in the U.S.

The GOP Convention starts today. So we can expect a week of some drama, followed by a temporary boost in Trump's standings at the polls.

A little was noted about the platform above, and rather than dig into the platform much yet, I'd note that on the one item I've noted above, the transfer of public lands, what I thought might prove to be the case is starting to be. Wyoming Republicans, watch out.

I happened to be at a venue where the Wyoming participant in the platform was present, and where I was, the talk was all about how the Republicans were ignoring the overwhelming deeply felt view of Wyomingites on public land transfer.  I.e., Wyomingites are overwhelming opposed to the idea, and yet our Senator, John Barasso, sat on the platform committee that came out in favor of it. Well, Dr. John, be careful. The vox populi wasn't rising up in support of that idea by a long measure.

The discussion turned to one of the local candidates who is running for the House. Same discussion.  One person indicated that they were thinking about talking to him on it, another viewed that as a hopeless endeavor.  I suspect that this issue is going to hurt him, and indeed in the Sunday newspaper a locally vocal person wrote a letter in opposition to him, in part because of his support for a bill to study taking over the control of the local Federal lands.

This issue may well prove to have litmus test qualities to some voters.  It's certainly an example of the local GOP flat out regarding the overwhelming viewpoint of the residents of the state in a highly arrogant manner.  Acting like voters don't matter has really gotten the GOP into trouble this year, and it might start considering that its grip on Wyoming offices might not be has fixed as it seems to assume it is.

Commentary Followup; July 20, 2016

I was doing the day commute to Denver the past day, which makes for an early morning and a late evening, so I've sort of blissfully tuned out from much of the news, but in the interest of keeping up, I should note that Donald Trump is now officially the Republican nominee. All efforts to derail that have failed.

Sort of bizarrely marring the event, his spouse is being accused of lifting lines from Michelle Obama's 2008 convention speech.  I haven't looked into it, and I'm not going to, but it's been news.  One bizarre comment in a journal is that its an example of "white privilege".  I think not.

What it may be an example of, however, is that the peculiar hopeful Republican line that's going around right now that once people know the Trump family they'll love them is, well, bizarre.  I'm not inclined to go after them in detail and as far as I know there's nothing bad to say about the Trump kids, and I don't even know all their names.  From what little I know of Donald Trump, Jr., I'm more inclined to like him (based on nearly a complete ignorance about him) than I do his father, but as for the father specifically its notable that we've come of the point where a candidate that has exchanged spouses so frequently and who has seemingly always gone for the glamorous variety is carrying the ball for the party that has always associated itself with tradition including traditional family values. Granted, Trump's relationships in that category are of the traditional type, but it's disconcerting that the meaning of that is so seemingly diluted.  At least one GOP pundit on the weekend shows was claiming that once the American public got to know the Trumps they'd love and admire them, based upon how well the kids turned out, but the public isn't electing the kids and I don't think that washes very well.  And as it obviously doesn't wash very well, this places conservative "value voters" in a really odd position, particularly in a year where their candidate is highly unlikely to win. 

Indeed, discontent in some quarters is so strong that some Republicans are still pretty vocal in their opposition.  Glen Beck appeared on the Meet The Press, for example, and actually urged disaffected Republicans and Democrats to vote for the Libertarians or the Greens, or anyone else other than Trump or Clinton.  Pretty remarkable. 

Commentary followup July 21, 2016

And yes, shocking news, a candidate has dropped out. . . . 

And that candidate is. . . .

Dr. Amir Azarvan.

Okay, not the big news you were looking for, but in the interest of keeping everyone up to speed on the news in this oddest of election years, there it is.   Dr. Amir Azarvan has dropped out as the nominee of the American Solidarity Party apparently because his employer resisted his taking time to campaign, or something like that.

It's hard to see how a party is going to get traction if their candidate drops out just days after being nominated.  But oh well.

But perhaps not as hard to grasp as the surreal item, noted above, of the head of the old American Communist Party endorsing Hillary Clinton at a time that Bernie Sanders was still running. Granted, Sanders isn't a Communist, but he claims to be a Socialist, and the Communist are truly Socialist.

Communism was always deluded, but at this point, they need to close up shop and just go home.

In other news, Ted Cruz addressed the Republican Convention but he did not endorse Donald Trump.  That's truly remarkable, and shows the extent to which the GOP is not coming together.

Commentary followup July 22, 2016

GOP nominee delivered his acceptance speed, something that may well define his canidacy more than the GOP platform.  He stated:
Friends, delegates and fellow Americans: I humbly and gratefully accept your nomination for the presidency of the United States.
Together, we will lead our party back to the White House, and we will lead our country back to safety, prosperity, and peace. We will be a country of generosity and warmth. But we will also be a country of law and order.

Our Convention occurs at a moment of crisis for our nation. The attacks on our police, and the terrorism in our cities, threaten our very way of life. Any politician who does not grasp this danger is not fit to lead our country.

Americans watching this address tonight have seen the recent images of violence in our streets and the chaos in our communities. Many have witnessed this violence personally, some have even been its victims.

I have a message for all of you: the crime and violence that today afflicts our nation will soon come to an end. Beginning on January 20th 2017, safety will be restored.

The most basic duty of government is to defend the lives of its own citizens. Any government that fails to do so is a government unworthy to lead.

It is finally time for a straightforward assessment of the state of our nation.

I will present the facts plainly and honestly. We cannot afford to be so politically correct anymore.
So if you want to hear the corporate spin, the carefully-crafted lies, and the media myths the Democrats are holding their convention next week.

But here, at our convention, there will be no lies. We will honor the American people with the truth, and nothing else.

These are the facts:

Decades of progress made in bringing down crime are now being reversed by this Administration’s rollback of criminal enforcement.

Homicides last year increased by 17% in America’s fifty largest cities. That’s the largest increase in 25 years. In our nation’s capital, killings have risen by 50 percent. They are up nearly 60% in nearby Baltimore.

In the President’s hometown of Chicago, more than 2,000 have been the victims of shootings this year alone. And more than 3,600 have been killed in the Chicago area since he took office.

The number of police officers killed in the line of duty has risen by almost 50% compared to this point last year. Nearly 180,000 illegal immigrants with criminal records, ordered deported from our country, are tonight roaming free to threaten peaceful citizens.

The number of new illegal immigrant families who have crossed the border so far this year already exceeds the entire total from 2015. They are being released by the tens of thousands into our communities with no regard for the impact on public safety or resources.

One such border-crosser was released and made his way to Nebraska. There, he ended the life of an innocent young girl named Sarah Root. She was 21 years-old, and was killed the day after graduating from college with a 4.0 Grade Point Average. Her killer was then released a second time, and he is now a fugitive from the law.

I’ve met Sarah’s beautiful family. But to this Administration, their amazing daughter was just one more American life that wasn’t worth protecting. One more child to sacrifice on the altar of open borders. What about our economy?

Again, I will tell you the plain facts that have been edited out of your nightly news and your morning newspaper: Nearly Four in 10 African-American children are living in poverty, while 58% of African American youth are not employed. 2 million more Latinos are in poverty today than when the President took his oath of office less than eight years ago. Another 14 million people have left the workforce entirely.

Household incomes are down more than $4,000 since the year 2000. Our manufacturing trade deficit has reached an all-time high – nearly $800 billion in a single year. The budget is no better.

President Obama has doubled our national debt to more than $19 trillion, and growing. Yet, what do we have to show for it? Our roads and bridges are falling apart, our airports are in Third World condition, and forty-three million Americans are on food stamps.

Now let us consider the state of affairs abroad.

Not only have our citizens endured domestic disaster, but they have lived through one international humiliation after another. We all remember the images of our sailors being forced to their knees by their Iranian captors at gunpoint.

This was just prior to the signing of the Iran deal, which gave back to Iran $150 billion and gave us nothing – it will go down in history as one of the worst deals ever made. Another humiliation came when president Obama drew a red line in Syria – and the whole world knew it meant nothing.
In Libya, our consulate – the symbol of American prestige around the globe – was brought down in flames. America is far less safe – and the world is far less stable – than when Obama made the decision to put Hillary Clinton in charge of America’s foreign policy.

I am certain it is a decision he truly regrets. Her bad instincts and her bad judgment – something pointed out by Bernie Sanders – are what caused the disasters unfolding today. Let’s review the record. In 2009, pre-Hillary, ISIS was not even on the map.

Libya was cooperating. Egypt was peaceful. Iraq was seeing a reduction in violence. Iran was being choked by sanctions. Syria was under control. After four years of Hillary Clinton, what do we have? ISIS has spread across the region, and the world. Libya is in ruins, and our Ambassador and his staff were left helpless to die at the hands of savage killers. Egypt was turned over to the radical Muslim brotherhood, forcing the military to retake control. Iraq is in chaos.

Iran is on the path to nuclear weapons. Syria is engulfed in a civil war and a refugee crisis that now threatens the West. After fifteen years of wars in the Middle East, after trillions of dollars spent and thousands of lives lost, the situation is worse than it has ever been before.

This is the legacy of Hillary Clinton: death, destruction and weakness.

But Hillary Clinton’s legacy does not have to be America’s legacy. The problems we face now – poverty and violence at home, war and destruction abroad – will last only as long as we continue relying on the same politicians who created them. A change in leadership is required to change these outcomes. Tonight, I will share with you my plan of action for America.

The most important difference between our plan and that of our opponents, is that our plan will put America First. Americanism, not globalism, will be our credo. As long as we are led by politicians who will not put America First, then we can be assured that other nations will not treat America with respect. This will all change in 2017.

The American People will come first once again. My plan will begin with safety at home – which means safe neighborhoods, secure borders, and protection from terrorism. There can be no prosperity without law and order. On the economy, I will outline reforms to add millions of new jobs and trillions in new wealth that can be used to rebuild America.

A number of these reforms that I will outline tonight will be opposed by some of our nation’s most powerful special interests. That is because these interests have rigged our political and economic system for their exclusive benefit.

Big business, elite media and major donors are lining up behind the campaign of my opponent because they know she will keep our rigged system in place. They are throwing money at her because they have total control over everything she does. She is their puppet, and they pull the strings.
That is why Hillary Clinton’s message is that things will never change. My message is that things have to change – and they have to change right now. Every day I wake up determined to deliver for the people I have met all across this nation that have been neglected, ignored, and abandoned.
I have visited the laid-off factory workers, and the communities crushed by our horrible and unfair trade deals. These are the forgotten men and women of our country. People who work hard but no longer have a voice.


I have embraced crying mothers who have lost their children because our politicians put their personal agendas before the national good. I have no patience for injustice, no tolerance for government incompetence, no sympathy for leaders who fail their citizens.

When innocent people suffer, because our political system lacks the will, or the courage, or the basic decency to enforce our laws – or worse still, has sold out to some corporate lobbyist for cash – I am not able to look the other way.

And when a Secretary of State illegally stores her emails on a private server, deletes 33,000 of them so the authorities can’t see her crime, puts our country at risk, lies about it in every different form and faces no consequence – I know that corruption has reached a level like never before.

When the FBI Director says that the Secretary of State was “extremely careless” and “negligent,” in handling our classified secrets, I also know that these terms are minor compared to what she actually did. They were just used to save her from facing justice for her terrible crimes.

In fact, her single greatest accomplishment may be committing such an egregious crime and getting away with it – especially when others have paid so dearly. When that same Secretary of State rakes in millions of dollars trading access and favors to special interests and foreign powers I know the time for action has come.

I have joined the political arena so that the powerful can no longer beat up on people that cannot defend themselves. Nobody knows the system better than me, which is why I alone can fix it. I have seen firsthand how the system is rigged against our citizens, just like it was rigged against Bernie Sanders – he never had a chance.

But his supporters will join our movement, because we will fix his biggest issue: trade. Millions of Democrats will join our movement because we are going to fix the system so it works for all Americans. In this cause, I am proud to have at my side the next Vice President of the United States: Governor Mike Pence of Indiana.

We will bring the same economic success to America that Mike brought to Indiana. He is a man of character and accomplishment. He is the right man for the job. The first task for our new Administration will be to liberate our citizens from the crime and terrorism and lawlessness that threatens their communities.

America was shocked to its core when our police officers in Dallas were brutally executed. In the days after Dallas, we have seen continued threats and violence against our law enforcement officials. Law officers have been shot or killed in recent days in Georgia, Missouri, Wisconsin, Kansas, Michigan and Tennessee.

On Sunday, more police were gunned down in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Three were killed, and four were badly injured. An attack on law enforcement is an attack on all Americans. I have a message to every last person threatening the peace on our streets and the safety of our police: when I take the oath of office next year, I will restore law and order our country.

I will work with, and appoint, the best prosecutors and law enforcement officials in the country to get the job done. In this race for the White House, I am the Law And Order candidate. The irresponsible rhetoric of our President, who has used the pulpit of the presidency to divide us by race and color, has made America a more dangerous environment for everyone.

This Administration has failed America’s inner cities. It’s failed them on education. It’s failed them on jobs. It’s failed them on crime. It’s failed them at every level.

When I am President, I will work to ensure that all of our kids are treated equally, and protected equally.

Every action I take, I will ask myself: does this make life better for young Americans in Baltimore, Chicago, Detroit, Ferguson who have as much of a right to live out their dreams as any other child America?

To make life safe in America, we must also address the growing threats we face from outside America: we are going to defeat the barbarians of ISIS. Once again, France is the victim of brutal Islamic terrorism.

Men, women and children viciously mowed down. Lives ruined. Families ripped apart. A nation in mourning.

The damage and devastation that can be inflicted by Islamic radicals has been over and over – at the World Trade Center, at an office party in San Bernardino, at the Boston Marathon, and a military recruiting center in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Only weeks ago, in Orlando, Florida, 49 wonderful Americans were savagely murdered by an Islamic terrorist. This time, the terrorist targeted our LGBT community. As your President, I will do everything in my power to protect our LGBT citizens from the violence and oppression of a hateful foreign ideology. To protect us from terrorism, we need to focus on three things.

We must have the best intelligence gathering operation in the world. We must abandon the failed policy of nation building and regime change that Hillary Clinton pushed in Iraq, Libya, Egypt and Syria. Instead, we must work with all of our allies who share our goal of destroying ISIS and stamping out Islamic terror.

This includes working with our greatest ally in the region, the State of Israel. Lastly, we must immediately suspend immigration from any nation that has been compromised by terrorism until such time as proven vetting mechanisms have been put in place.

My opponent has called for a radical 550% increase in Syrian refugees on top of existing massive refugee flows coming into our country under President Obama. She proposes this despite the fact that there’s no way to screen these refugees in order to find out who they are or where they come from. I only want to admit individuals into our country who will support our values and love our people.
Anyone who endorses violence, hatred or oppression is not welcome in our country and never will be.

Decades of record immigration have produced lower wages and higher unemployment for our citizens, especially for African-American and Latino workers. We are going to have an immigration system that works, but one that works for the American people.

On Monday, we heard from three parents whose children were killed by illegal immigrants Mary Ann Mendoza, Sabine Durden, and Jamiel Shaw. They are just three brave representatives of many thousands. Of all my travels in this country, nothing has affected me more deeply than the time I have spent with the mothers and fathers who have lost their children to violence spilling across our border.
These families have no special interests to represent them. There are no demonstrators to protest on their behalf. My opponent will never meet with them, or share in their pain. Instead, my opponent wants Sanctuary Cities. But where was sanctuary for Kate Steinle? Where was Sanctuary for the children of Mary Ann, Sabine and Jamiel? Where was sanctuary for all the other Americans who have been so brutally murdered, and who have suffered so horribly?

These wounded American families have been alone. But they are alone no longer. Tonight, this candidate and this whole nation stand in their corner to support them, to send them our love, and to pledge in their honor that we will save countless more families from suffering the same awful fate.
We are going to build a great border wall to stop illegal immigration, to stop the gangs and the violence, and to stop the drugs from pouring into our communities. I have been honored to receive the endorsement of America’s Border Patrol Agents, and will work directly with them to protect the integrity of our lawful immigration system.

By ending catch-and-release on the border, we will stop the cycle of human smuggling and violence. Illegal border crossings will go down. Peace will be restored. By enforcing the rules for the millions who overstay their visas, our laws will finally receive the respect they deserve.

Tonight, I want every American whose demands for immigration security have been denied – and every politician who has denied them – to listen very closely to the words I am about to say.
On January 21st of 2017, the day after I take the oath of office, Americans will finally wake up in a country where the laws of the United States are enforced. We are going to be considerate and compassionate to everyone.

But my greatest compassion will be for our own struggling citizens. My plan is the exact opposite of the radical and dangerous immigration policy of Hillary Clinton. Americans want relief from uncontrolled immigration. Communities want relief.

Yet Hillary Clinton is proposing mass amnesty, mass immigration, and mass lawlessness. Her plan will overwhelm your schools and hospitals, further reduce your jobs and wages, and make it harder for recent immigrants to escape from poverty.

I have a different vision for our workers. It begins with a new, fair trade policy that protects our jobs and stands up to countries that cheat. It’s been a signature message of my campaign from day one, and it will be a signature feature of my presidency from the moment I take the oath of office.
I have made billions of dollars in business making deals – now I’m going to make our country rich again. I am going to turn our bad trade agreements into great ones. America has lost nearly-one third of its manufacturing jobs since 1997, following the enactment of disastrous trade deals supported by Bill and Hillary Clinton.

Remember, it was Bill Clinton who signed NAFTA, one of the worst economic deals ever made by our country.

Never again.

I am going to bring our jobs back to Ohio and to America – and I am not going to let companies move to other countries, firing their employees along the way, without consequences.

My opponent, on the other hand, has supported virtually every trade agreement that has been destroying our middle class. She supported NAFTA, and she supported China’s entrance into the World Trade Organization – another one of her husband’s colossal mistakes.

She supported the job killing trade deal with South Korea. She has supported the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The TPP will not only destroy our manufacturing, but it will make America subject to the rulings of foreign governments. I pledge to never sign any trade agreement that hurts our workers, or that diminishes our freedom and independence. Instead, I will make individual deals with individual countries.

No longer will we enter into these massive deals, with many countries, that are thousands of pages long – and which no one from our country even reads or understands. We are going to enforce all trade violations, including through the use of taxes and tariffs, against any country that cheats.
This includes stopping China’s outrageous theft of intellectual property, along with their illegal product dumping, and their devastating currency manipulation. Our horrible trade agreements with China and many others, will be totally renegotiated. That includes renegotiating NAFTA to get a much better deal for America – and we’ll walk away if we don’t get the deal that we want. We are going to start building and making things again.

Next comes the reform of our tax laws, regulations and energy rules. While Hillary Clinton plans a massive tax increase, I have proposed the largest tax reduction of any candidate who has declared for the presidential race this year – Democrat or Republican. Middle-income Americans will experience profound relief, and taxes will be simplified for everyone.

America is one of the highest-taxed nations in the world. Reducing taxes will cause new companies and new jobs to come roaring back into our country. Then we are going to deal with the issue of regulation, one of the greatest job-killers of them all. Excessive regulation is costing our country as much as $2 trillion a year, and we will end it. We are going to lift the restrictions on the production of American energy. This will produce more than $20 trillion in job creating economic activity over the next four decades.

My opponent, on the other hand, wants to put the great miners and steel workers of our country out of work – that will never happen when I am President. With these new economic policies, trillions of dollars will start flowing into our country.

This new wealth will improve the quality of life for all Americans – We will build the roads, highways, bridges, tunnels, airports, and the railways of tomorrow. This, in turn, will create millions more jobs. We will rescue kids from failing schools by helping their parents send them to a safe school of their choice.

My opponent would rather protect education bureaucrats than serve American children. We will repeal and replace disastrous Obamacare. You will be able to choose your own doctor again. And we will fix TSA at the airports! We will completely rebuild our depleted military, and the countries that we protect, at a massive loss, will be asked to pay their fair share.

We will take care of our great Veterans like they have never been taken care of before. My opponent dismissed the VA scandal as being not widespread – one more sign of how out of touch she really is. We are going to ask every Department Head in government to provide a list of wasteful spending projects that we can eliminate in my first 100 days. The politicians have talked about it, I’m going to do it. We are also going to appoint justices to the United States Supreme Court who will uphold our laws and our Constitution.

The replacement for Justice Scalia will be a person of similar views and principles. This will be one of the most important issues decided by this election. My opponent wants to essentially abolish the 2nd amendment. I, on the other hand, received the early and strong endorsement of the National Rifle Association and will protect the right of all Americans to keep their families safe.

At this moment, I would like to thank the evangelical community who have been so good to me and so supportive. You have so much to contribute to our politics, yet our laws prevent you from speaking your minds from your own pulpits.

An amendment, pushed by Lyndon Johnson, many years ago, threatens religious institutions with a loss of their tax-exempt status if they openly advocate their political views.

I am going to work very hard to repeal that language and protect free speech for all Americans. We can accomplish these great things, and so much else – all we need to do is start believing in ourselves and in our country again. It is time to show the whole world that America Is Back – bigger, and better and stronger than ever before.

In this journey, I'm so lucky to have at my side my wife  and my wonderful children, Don, Ivanka, Eric, Tiffany, and Barron: you will always be my greatest source of pride and joy. My Dad, Fred Trump, was the smartest and hardest working man I ever knew. I wonder sometimes what he’d say if he were here to see this tonight.

It’s because of him that I learned, from my youngest age, to respect the dignity of work and the dignity of working people. He was a guy most comfortable in the company of bricklayers, carpenters, and electricians and I have a lot of that in me also. Then there’s my mother, Mary. She was strong, but also warm and fair-minded. She was a truly great mother. She was also one of the most honest and charitable people I have ever known, and a great judge of character.

To my sisters Mary Anne and Elizabeth, my brother Robert and my late brother Fred, I will always give you my love you are most special to me. I have loved my life in business.

But now, my sole and exclusive mission is to go to work for our country – to go to work for all of you. It’s time to deliver a victory for the American people. But to do that, we must break free from the petty politics of the past.

America is a nation of believers, dreamers, and strivers that is being led by a group of censors, critics, and cynics.

Remember: all of the people telling you that you can’t have the country you want, are the same people telling you that I wouldn’t be standing here tonight. No longer can we rely on those elites in media, and politics, who will say anything to keep a rigged system in place.

Instead, we must choose to Believe In America. History is watching us now.

It’s waiting to see if we will rise to the occasion, and if we will show the whole world that America is still free and independent and strong.

My opponent asks her supporters to recite a three-word loyalty pledge. It reads: “I’m With Her”. I choose to recite a different pledge.

My pledge reads: “I’M WITH YOU – THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.”

I am your voice.

So to every parent who dreams for their child, and every child who dreams for their future, I say these words to you tonight: I’m With You, and I will fight for you, and I will win for you.

To all Americans tonight, in all our cities and towns, I make this promise: We Will Make America Strong Again.

We Will Make America Proud Again.

We Will Make America Safe Again.

And We Will Make America Great Again.

Commentary followup, July 23, 2016

Hillary Clinton announced that Tim Kaine of Virginia would be her running mate.

The choice emphasizes the extent to which the Democrats are running a traditional managed campaign, which after all has worked for Clinton so far this cycle.  After being dragged to the left by Bernie Sanders, the choice of Kaine signals an appeal to the center.  With the Sanders threat over, save for some likely noise next week at the convention, Clinton seems to have determined to try to recapture middle of the road Democrats who may be leaning now towards the Republicans.  If that's her goal, Kaine is a good choice.

Kaine is a former governor and current senator and is what is called a "centerist".  He's middle of the road on gun control, he's on the left in gender issues, he's a "personally against" but no legislation on early life issues.  He looks, therefore, sort of like a better version of Joe Biden.

It'll be interesting to see if that sells this year in the general campaign, as generally the electorate has been unhappy with compromise candidates this year.  In some ways that sort of defines Kaine, who has managed to be a centrist in a state that leans to the right, and is one of the generation of Boomer Catholic candidates who have been comfortable with what is generally regarded as moral compromise by the serious in that Faith.  So its a very traditional choice, in a year in which tradition hasn't held a lot of sway.  It is a choice, however, that allows Clinton to pitch for middle of the road voters where she is somewhat weak.

Commentary followup, July 25, 2016

Somehow, probably just because I've been busy, I managed to miss the breaking news that Russian hackers, of all people, had hacked into the Democratic National Committee emails system and Wikileaks released them. The result has been basically to confirm a pro Clinton bias in the DNC and an anti Sanders one. The news caused Debbie Wasserman Schultz to resign as chairman of the DNC.

Well, Wasserman Schultz has appeared on our blog before, and if the leaks caused her to resign, the Russians may have done the Democrats a big favor.  Wasserman Schultz was one of those figures that really doesn't sell well, in my view, outside of the Beltway.  As for the DNC being biased in favor of Clinton, there's a certain "no kidding" aspect to that as it was always pretty clear, and Wasserman Schultz herself commented on it months ago, that the Democratic system was geared towards keeping an insurgent campaign from being easily successful.  I guess the surprise is the degree to which the DNC ws internally dedicated to that, maybe, assuming it was.

My prediction is that this will have no effect on the Clinton campaign itself, which hasn't been shown to be connected to it in any way, and at this point hardly anyone is very impressed with either of the candidates any how, and people are therefore more or less numb to this sort of stuff.

Commentary followup, July 27, 2016

There is at least a mini rebellion going on in the "progressive" wing of the Democratic Party now made up of Sanders supporters who are disgusted with the DNC having worked against, at least in some fashion, their candidate.   Some of those supporters are now leaning towards Green Party presumptive nominee Jill Stein.

The degree to which Stein and Sanders share common views is unknown to me, but just as some disaffected in the GOP are finding the Libertarians to their liking more than Trump this year, it's not too surprising that some disaffected Democrats are looking at the left wing Greens.  It is more surprising, perhaps, than the Libertarian story, but only because the Greens have never previously emerged as a third party that looked capable of winning any success and because up until now Democratic party discipline has been so good.  Now it's breaking down when it can ill afford to.

There's a lot of crying and whining in both parties about the disaffected bolting but now that this has broken out in both parties perhaps this is a topic which needs to be reconsidered.  It's pretty clear that neither the GOP nor the Democratic Party are the "big tents" they claim to be, rather their one small tent with a lot of people who are allowed to hang around outside. While considering a third party brings up serious political, philosophical and even moral implications for those considering, if all three of the third parties getting some press this year, the Libertarians, the Greens and the American Solidarity Party, actually made a showing it might not be a wholly negative development.

Commentary followup, July 28, 2016

It's been remarkable this past week how often I've heard that the impending nomination of Hillary Clinton will "break the glass ceiling", that meaning that something really historic will occur by the Democrats nominating a woman as their candidate.

Some have pointed out that at least one woman has been nominated before, by a third party, but that's really besides the point. The greater point is that this ship has truly sailed, and did so quite a few years back.

At some point, "firsts" are irrelevant statistics.   Barack Obama becoming the first black President was truly historic, but one of the reasons for that is that it ended the firsts.  After that, all the first are mere statistics unless they reflect something massively outside the expected.

Women have held high office in the United States for a long time.  We've had women Secretaries of State, women Supreme Court Justices, and so on.  A woman President, frankly, just isn't a big deal.

Second Commentary followup, July 28, 2016

Hillary Clinton's acceptance speech:

Thank you! Thank you for that amazing welcome.
And Chelsea, thank you.
I'm so proud to be your mother and so proud of the woman you've become.
Thanks for bringing Marc into our family, and Charlotte and Aidan into the world.
And Bill, that conversation we started in the law library 45 years ago is still going strong.
It's lasted through good times that filled us with joy, and hard times that tested us.
And I've even gotten a few words in along the way.
On Tuesday night, I was so happy to see that my Explainer-in-Chief is still on the job.
I'm also grateful to the rest of my family and the friends of a lifetime.
To all of you whose hard work brought us here tonight…
And to those of you who joined our campaign this week.
And what a remarkable week it's been.
We heard the man from Hope, Bill Clinton.
And the man of Hope, Barack Obama.
America is stronger because of President Obama's leadership, and I'm better because of his friendship.
We heard from our terrific vice president, the one-and-only Joe Biden, who spoke from his big heart about our party's commitment to working people.
First Lady Michelle Obama reminded us that our children are watching, and the president we elect is going to be their president, too.
And for those of you out there who are just getting to know Tim Kaine – you're soon going to understand why the people of Virginia keep promoting him: from city council and mayor, to Governor, and now Senator.
He'll make the whole country proud as our Vice President.
And… I want to thank Bernie Sanders.
Bernie, your campaign inspired millions of Americans, particularly the young people who threw their hearts and souls into our primary.
You've put economic and social justice issues front and center, where they belong.
And to all of your supporters here and around the country:
I want you to know, I've heard you.
Your cause is our cause.
Our country needs your ideas, energy, and passion.
That's the only way we can turn our progressive platform into real change for America.
We wrote it together – now let's go out there and make it happen together.
My friends, we've come to Philadelphia – the birthplace of our nation – because what happened in this city 240 years ago still has something to teach us today.
We all know the story.
But we usually focus on how it turned out - and not enough on how close that story came to never being written at all.
When representatives from 13 unruly colonies met just down the road from here, some wanted to stick with the King.
Some wanted to stick it to the king, and go their own way.
The revolution hung in the balance.
Then somehow they began listening to each other … compromising … finding common purpose.
And by the time they left Philadelphia, they had begun to see themselves as one nation.
That's what made it possible to stand up to a King.
That took courage.
They had courage.
Our Founders embraced the enduring truth that we are stronger together.
America is once again at a moment of reckoning.
Powerful forces are threatening to pull us apart.
Bonds of trust and respect are fraying.
And just as with our founders, there are no guarantees.
It truly is up to us.
We have to decide whether we all will work together so we all can rise together.
Our country's motto is e pluribus unum: out of many, we are one.
Will we stay true to that motto?
Well, we heard Donald Trump's answer last week at his convention.
He wants to divide us - from the rest of the world, and from each other.
He's betting that the perils of today's world will blind us to its unlimited promise.
He's taken the Republican Party a long way...
from "Morning in America" to "Midnight in America."
He wants us to fear the future and fear each other.
Well, a great Democratic President, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, came up with the perfect rebuke to Trump more than eighty years ago, during a much more perilous time.
“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”
Now we are clear-eyed about what our country is up against.
But we are not afraid.
We will rise to the challenge, just as we always have.
We will not build a wall.
Instead, we will build an economy where everyone who wants a good paying job can get one.
And we'll build a path to citizenship for millions of immigrants who are already contributing to our economy!
We will not ban a religion.
We will work with all Americans and our allies to fight terrorism.
There's a lot of work to do.
Too many people haven't had a pay raise since the
There's too much inequality.
Too little social mobility.
Too much paralysis in Washington.
Too many threats at home and abroad.
But just look at the strengths we bring to meet these challenges.
We have the most dynamic and diverse people in the world.
We have the most tolerant and generous young people we've ever had.
We have the most powerful military.
The most innovative entrepreneurs.
The most enduring values.Freedom and equality, justice and opportunity.
We should be so proud that these words are associated with us. That when people
hear them – they hear… America.
So don't let anyone tell you that our country is weak.
We're not.
Don't let anyone tell you we don't have what it takes.
We do.
And most of all, don't believe anyone who says: “I alone can fix it.”
Those were actually Donald Trump's words in Cleveland.
And they should set off alarm bells for all of us.
I alone can fix it?
Isn't he forgetting?
Troops on the front lines.
Police officers and fire fighters who run toward danger.
Doctors and nurses who care for us.
Teachers who change lives.
Entrepreneurs who see possibilities in every problem.
Mothers who lost children to violence and are building a movement to keep other kids safe.
He's forgetting every last one of us.
Americans don't say: “I alone can fix it.”
We say: “We'll fix it together.”
Remember: Our Founders fought a revolution and wrote a Constitution so America would never be a nation where one person had all the power.
Two hundred and forty years later, we still put our faith in each other.
Look at what happened in Dallas after the assassinations of five brave police officers.
Chief David Brown asked the community to support his force, maybe even join them.
And you know how the community responded?
Nearly 500 people applied in just 12 days.
That's how Americans answer when the call for help goes out.
20 years ago I wrote a book called “It Takes a Village.” A lot of people looked at the title and asked, what the heck do you mean by that?
This is what I mean.
None of us can raise a family, build a business, heal a community or lift a country totally alone.
America needs every one of us to lend our energy, our talents, our ambition to making our nation better and stronger.
I believe that with all my heart.
That's why “Stronger Together” is not just a lesson from our history.
It's not just a slogan for our campaign.
It's a guiding principle for the country we've always been and the future we're going to build.
A country where the economy works for everyone, not just those at the top.
Where you can get a good job and send your kids to a good school, no matter what zip code you live in.
A country where all our children can dream, and those dreams are within reach.
Where families are strong… communities are safe…
And yes, love trumps hate.
That's the country we're fighting for.
That's the future we're working toward…
And so it is with humility. . . determination . . . and boundless confidence in America's promise… that I accept your nomination for President of the United
Now, sometimes the people at this podium are new to the national stage.
As you know, I'm not one of those people.
I've been your First Lady. Served 8 years as a Senator from the great State of New York.
I ran for President and lost.
Then I represented all of you as Secretary of State.
But my job titles only tell you what I've done.
They don't tell you why.
The truth is, through all these years of public service, the “service” part has always come easier to me than the “public” part.
I get it that some people just don't know what to make of me.
So let me tell you.
The family I'm from . . . well, no one had their name on big buildings.
My family were builders of a different kind.
Builders in the way most American families are.
They used whatever tools they had – whatever God gave them – and whatever life in America provided – and built better lives and better futures for their kids.
My grandfather worked in the same Scranton lace mill for 50 years.
Because he believed that if he gave everything he had, his children would have a better life than he did.
And he was right.
My dad, Hugh, made it to college. He played football at Penn State and enlisted in the Navy after Pearl Harbor.
When the war was over he started his own small business, printing fabric for draperies.
I remember watching him stand for hours over silk screens.
He wanted to give my brothers and me opportunities he never had.
And he did. My mother, Dorothy, was abandoned by her parents as a young girl. She ended up on her own at 14, working as a house maid.
She was saved by the kindness of others.
Her first grade teacher saw she had nothing to eat at lunch, and brought extra food to share.
The lesson she passed on to me years later stuck with me:
No one gets through life alone.
We have to look out for each other and lift each other up.
She made sure I learned the words of our Methodist faith:
“Do all the good you can, for all the people you can, in all the ways you can, as long as ever you can.”
I went to work for the Children's Defense Fund, going door-to-door in New Bedford, Massachusetts on behalf of children with disabilities who were denied the chance
to go to school.
I remember meeting a young girl in a wheelchair on the small back porch of her house.
She told me how badly she wanted to go to school – it just didn't seem possible.
And I couldn't stop thinking of my mother and what she went through as a child.
It became clear to me that simply caring is not enough.
To drive real progress, you have to change both hearts and laws.
You need both understanding and action.
So we gathered facts. We built a coalition. And our work helped convince Congress to ensure access to education for all students with disabilities.
It's a big idea, isn't it?
Every kid with a disability has the right to go to school.
But how do you make an idea like that real? You do it step-by-step, year-by-year… sometimes even door-by-door.
And my heart just swelled when I saw Anastasia Somoza on this stage, representing millions of young people who – because of those changes to our laws – are able to get an education.
It's true... I sweat the details of policy – whether we're talking about the exact level of lead in the drinking water in Flint, Michigan, the number of mental health facilities in Iowa, or the cost of your prescription drugs.
Because it's not just a detail if it's your kid - if it's your family.
It's a big deal. And it should be a big deal to your president.
Over the last three days, you've seen some of the people who've inspired me.
People who let me into their lives, and became a part of mine.
People like Ryan Moore and Lauren Manning.
They told their stories Tuesday night.
I first met Ryan as a seven-year old.
He was wearing a full body brace that must have weighed forty pounds.
Children like Ryan kept me going when our plan for universal health care failed…and kept me working with leaders of both parties to help create the Children's Health Insurance Program that covers 8 million kids every year.
Lauren was gravely injured on 9/11.
It was the thought of her, and Debbie St. John, and John Dolan and Joe Sweeney, and all the victims and survivors, that kept me working as hard as I could in the Senate on behalf of 9/11 families, and our first responders who got sick from their time at Ground Zero.
I was still thinking of Lauren, Debbie and all the others ten years later in the White House Situation Room when President Obama made the courageous decision that finally brought Osama bin Laden to justice.
In this campaign, I've met so many people who motivate me to keep fighting for change.
And, with your help, I will carry all of your voices and stories with me to the White House.
I will be a President for Democrats, Republicans, and Independents.
For the struggling, the striving and the successful.
For those who vote for me and those who don't.
For all Americans.
Tonight, we've reached a milestone in our nation's march toward a more perfect union:
the first time that a major party has nominated a woman for President.
Standing here as my mother's daughter, and my daughter's mother, I'm so happy this day has come.
Happy for grandmothers and little girls and everyone in between.
Happy for boys and men, too – because when any barrier falls in America, for anyone, it clears the way for everyone. When there are no ceilings, the sky's the limit.
So let's keep going, until every one of the 161 million women and girls across America has the opportunity she deserves.
Because even more important than the history we make tonight, is the history we will write together in the years ahead.
Let's begin with what we're going to do to help working people in our country get ahead and stay ahead.
Now, I don't think President Obama and Vice President Biden get the credit they deserve for saving us from the worst economic crisis of our lifetimes.
Our economy is so much stronger than when they took office. Nearly 15 million new private-sector jobs. Twenty million more Americans with health insurance. And an auto industry that just had its best year ever. That's real progress.
But none of us can be satisfied with the status quo. Not by a long shot.
We're still facing deep-seated problems that developed long before the recession and have stayed with us through the
I've gone around our country talking to working families. And I've heard from so many of you who feel like the economy just isn't working.
Some of you are frustrated – even furious.
And you know what??? You're right.
It's not yet working the way it should.
Americans are willing to work – and work hard.
But right now, an awful lot of people feel there is less and less respect for the work they do.
And less respect for them, period.
Democrats are the party of working people.
But we haven't done a good enough job showing that we get what you're going through,
and that we're going to do something about it.
So I want to tell you tonight how we will empower Americans to live better lives.
My primary mission as President will be to create more opportunity and more good jobs with rising wages right here in the United States...
From my first day in office to my last!
Especially in places that for too long have been left out and left behind.
From our inner cities to our small towns, from Indian Country to Coal Country.
From communities ravaged by addiction to regions hollowed out by plant closures.
And here's what I believe.
I believe America thrives when the middle class thrives.
I believe that our economy isn't working the way it should because our democracy isn't working the way it should.
That's why we need to appoint Supreme Court justices who will get money out of politics and expand voting rights, not restrict them. And we'll pass a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United!
I believe American corporations that have gotten so much from our country should be just as patriotic in return.
Many of them are. But too many aren't.
It's wrong to take tax breaks with one hand and give out pink slips with the other.
And I believe Wall Street can never, ever be allowed to wreck Main Street again.
I believe in science. I believe that climate change is real and that we can save our planet while creating millions of good-paying clean energy jobs.
I believe that when we have millions of hardworking immigrants contributing to our economy, it would be self-defeating and inhumane to kick them out.
Comprehensive immigration reform will grow our economy and keep families together - and it's the right thing to do.
Whatever party you belong to, or if you belong to no party at all, if you share these beliefs, this is your campaign.
If you believe that companies should share profits with their workers, not pad executive bonuses, join us.
If you believe the minimum wage should be a living wage… and no one working full time should have to raise their children in poverty… join us.
If you believe that every man, woman, and child in America has the right to affordable health care…join us.
If you believe that we should say “no” to unfair trade deals... that we should stand up to China... that we should support our steelworkers and autoworkers and homegrown manufacturers…join us.
If you believe we should expand Social Security and protect a woman's right to make her own health care decisions… join us.
And yes, if you believe that your working mother, wife, sister, or daughter deserves equal pay… join us...
Let's make sure this economy works for everyone, not just those at the top.
Now, you didn't hear any of this from Donald Trump at his convention.
He spoke for 70-odd minutes – and I do mean odd.
And he offered zero solutions. But we already know he doesn't believe these things.
No wonder he doesn't like talking about his plans.
You might have noticed, I love talking about mine.
In my first 100 days, we will work with both parties to pass the biggest investment in new, good-paying jobs since World War II.
Jobs in manufacturing, clean energy, technology and innovation, small business, and infrastructure.
If we invest in infrastructure now, we'll not only create jobs today, but lay the foundation for the jobs of the future.
And we will transform the way we prepare our young people for those jobs.
Bernie Sanders and I will work together to make college tuition-free for the middle class and debt-free for all!
We will also liberate millions of people who already have student debt.
It's just not right that Donald Trump can ignore his debts, but students and families can't refinance theirs.
And here's something we don't say often enough: College is crucial, but a four-year degree should not be the only path to a good job.
We're going to help more people learn a skill or practice a trade and make a good living doing it.
We're going to give small businesses a boost. Make it easier to get credit. Way too many dreams die in the parking lots of banks.
In America, if you can dream it, you should be able to build it.
We're going to help you balance family and work. And you know what, if fighting for affordable child care and paid family leave is playing the “woman card,” then Deal Me In!
(Oh, you've heard that one?)
Now, here's the thing, we're not only going to make all these investments, we're going to pay for every single one of them.
And here's how: Wall Street, corporations, and the super-rich are going to start paying their fair share of taxes.
Not because we resent success. Because when more than 90% of the gains have gone to the top 1%, that's where the money is.
And if companies take tax breaks and then ship jobs overseas, we'll make them
pay us back. And we'll put that money to work where it belongs … creating jobs here at home!
Now I know some of you are sitting at home thinking, well that all sounds pretty good.
But how are you going to get it done? How are you going to break through the gridlock in Washington? Look at my record. I’ve worked across the aisle to pass laws and treaties and to launch new programs that help millions of people. And if you give me the chance, that’s what I’ll do as President.
But Trump, he's a businessman. He must know something about the economy.
Well, let's take a closer look.
In Atlantic City, 60 miles from here, you'll find contractors and small businesses who lost everything because Donald Trump refused to pay his bills.
People who did the work and needed the money, and didn't get it – not because he couldn't pay them, but because he wouldn't pay them.
That sales pitch he's making to be your president? Put your faith in him – and you'll win big? That's the same sales pitch he made to all those small businesses. Then Trump walked away, and left working people holding the bag.
He also talks a big game about putting America First. Please explain to me what part of America First leads him to make Trump ties in China, not Colorado.
Trump suits in Mexico, not Michigan. Trump furniture in Turkey, not Ohio. Trump picture frames in India, not Wisconsin.
Donald Trump says he wants to make America great again – well, he could start by actually making things in America again.
The choice we face is just as stark when it comes to our national security.
Anyone reading the news can see the threats and turbulence we face.
From Baghdad and Kabul, to Nice and Paris and Brussels, to San Bernardino and Orlando, we're dealing with determined enemies that must be defeated.
No wonder people are anxious and looking for reassurance. Looking for steady leadership.
You want a leader who understands we are stronger when we work with our allies around the world and care for our veterans here at home. Keeping our nation safe and honoring the people who do it will be my highest priority.
I'm proud that we put a lid on Iran's nuclear program without firing a single shot – now we have to enforce it, and keep supporting Israel's security.
I'm proud that we shaped a global climate agreement – now we have to hold every country accountable to their commitments, including ourselves.
I'm proud to stand by our allies in NATO against any threat they face, including from Russia.
I've laid out my strategy for defeating ISIS.
We will strike their sanctuaries from the air, and support local forces taking them out on the ground. We will surge our intelligence so that we detect and prevent attacks before they happen.
We will disrupt their efforts online to reach and radicalize young people in our country.
It won't be easy or quick, but make no mistake – we will prevail.
Now Donald Trump says, and this is a quote, “I know more about ISIS than the generals do….”
No, Donald, you don't.
He thinks that he knows more than our military because he claimed our armed forces are “a disaster.”
Well, I've had the privilege to work closely with our troops and our veterans for many years, including as a Senator on the Armed Services Committee.
I know how wrong he is. Our military is a national treasure.
We entrust our commander-in-chief to make the hardest decisions our nation faces.
Decisions about war and peace. Life and death.
A president should respect the men and women who risk their lives to serve our country – including the sons of Tim Kaine and Mike Pence, both Marines.
Ask yourself: Does Donald Trump have the temperament to be Commander-in-Chief?
Donald Trump can't even handle the rough-and-tumble of a presidential campaign.
He loses his cool at the slightest provocation. When he's gotten a tough question from a reporter. When he's challenged in a debate. When he sees a protestor at a rally.
Imagine him in the Oval Office facing a real crisis. A man you can bait with a tweet is not a man we can trust with nuclear weapons.
I can't put it any better than Jackie Kennedy did after the Cuban Missile Crisis. She said that what worried President Kennedy during that very dangerous time was that a war might be started – not by big men with self-control and restraint, but by little men – the ones moved by fear and pride.
America's strength doesn't come from lashing out.
Strength relies on smarts, judgment, cool resolve, and the precise and strategic application of power.
That's the kind of Commander-in-Chief I pledge to be.
And if we're serious about keeping our country safe, we also can't afford to have a President who's in the pocket of the gun lobby.
I'm not here to repeal the 2nd Amendment.
I'm not here to take away your guns.
I just don't want you to be shot by someone who shouldn't have a gun in the first place.
We should be working with responsible gun owners to pass common-sense reforms and keep guns out of the hands of criminals, terrorists and all others who would do us harm.
For decades, people have said this issue was too hard to solve and the politics were too hot to touch.
But I ask you: how can we just stand by and do nothing?
You heard, you saw, family members of people killed by gun violence.
You heard, you saw, family members of police officers killed in the line of duty because they were outgunned by criminals.
I refuse to believe we can't find common ground here.
We have to heal the divides in our country.
Not just on guns. But on race. Immigration. And more.
That starts with listening to each other. Hearing each other. Trying, as best we can, to walk in each other's shoes.
So let's put ourselves in the shoes of young black and Latino men and women who face the effects of systemic racism, and are made to feel like their lives are disposable.
Let's put ourselves in the shoes of police officers, kissing their kids and spouses goodbye every day and heading off to do a dangerous and necessary job.
We will reform our criminal justice system from end-to-end, and rebuild trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve.
We will defend all our rights – civil rights, human rights and voting rights… women's rights and workers' rights… LGBT rights and the rights of people with disabilities!
And we will stand up against mean and divisive rhetoric wherever it comes from.
For the past year, many people made the mistake of laughing off Donald Trump's comments – excusing him as an entertainer just putting on a show.
They think he couldn't possibly mean all the horrible things he says – like when he called women “pigs.” Or said that an American judge couldn't be fair because of his Mexican heritage. Or when he mocks and mimics a reporter with a disability.
Or insults prisoners of war like John McCain –a true hero and patriot who deserves our respect.
At first, I admit, I couldn't believe he meant it either.
It was just too hard to fathom – that someone who wants to lead our nation could say those things. Could be like that.
But here's the sad truth: There is no other Donald Trump...This is it.
And in the end, it comes down to what Donald Trump doesn't get: that America is great – because America is good.
So enough with the bigotry and bombast. Donald Trump's not offering real change.
He's offering empty promises. What are we offering? A bold agenda to improve the lives of people across our country - to keep you safe, to get you good jobs, and to give your kids the opportunities they deserve.
The choice is clear.
Every generation of Americans has come together to make our country freer, fairer, and stronger.
None of us can do it alone.
I know that at a time when so much seems to be pulling us apart, it can be hard to imagine how we'll ever pull together again.
But I'm here to tell you tonight – progress is possible.
I know because I've seen it in the lives of people across America who get knocked down and get right back up.
And I know it from my own life. More than a few times, I've had to pick myself up and get back in the game.
Like so much else, I got this from my mother. She never let me back down from any challenge. When I tried to hide from a neighborhood bully, she literally blocked the door. “Go back out there,” she said.
And she was right. You have to stand up to bullies.
You have to keep working to make things better, even when the odds are long and the opposition is fierce.
We lost my mother a few years ago. I miss her every day. And I still hear her voice urging me to keep working, keep fighting for right, no matter what.
That's what we need to do together as a nation.
Though "we may not live to see the glory," as the song from the musical Hamilton goes, "let us gladly join the fight."
Let our legacy be about "planting seeds in a garden you never get to see."
That's why we're here...not just in this hall, but on this Earth.
The Founders showed us that.
And so have many others since.
They were drawn together by love of country, and the selfless passion to build something better for all who follow.
That is the story of America. And we begin a new chapter tonight.
Yes, the world is watching what we do.
Yes, America's destiny is ours to choose.
So let's be stronger together.
Looking to the future with courage and confidence.
Building a better tomorrow for our beloved children and our beloved country.
When we do, America will be greater than ever.
Thank you and may God bless the United States of America!

Tracking the Presidential Election, 2016
Tracking the Presidential Election, 2016, Part II
Tracking the Presidential Election, 2016, Part III Sic Transit Gloria Mundi.
Tracking the Presidential Election Part IV
Tracking the Presidential Election Part V
Tracking the Presidential Election Part VI. The wobbly Democratic Party.
Tracking the Presidential Election Part VII
Tracking the Presidential Election Part VIII. Is there a Brexit lesson for the US election?

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