Donald Trump’s Orlando Speech, June 13, 2016

I watched Trump’s full speech on Orlando just now. Hillary is going to have problems responding. His speech has its demagogic parts, and there are two moments along the way where he teeters into an emotional place where you can see his mercurial mental instability and hysterical side coming dangerously close to the surface, but on balance it’s a very strong speech (and by that, I don’t mean I share Trump’s point-of-view; I mean it’s politically effective).

I can see how Trump could give Hillary more than a run for her money if he sticks with a teleprompter and keeps his cool like this for the rest of the general election campaign. I can see the content of the speech readily appealing to a majority of Americans, as well as the way he delivered it.

Trump just showed his potential for coming across as caring, protective, inclusive, and strong in ways that could capture for him a lot of votes. His desire to defend Jews, Christians, women, and the LGBT community from radical Islamists is clearly sincere, and even moving. When he talks inclusively, keeping everybody, including moderate Muslims, in the same boat, he sounds–dare I say it?–inspiring. He definitely wants to be the good father to those who love America, and that comes across.

As a Hillary supporter, and as someone who thinks Hillary’s general demeanor and approach to terrorism is superior to Trump’s, I’m frankly worried about her ability to fend off this speech. Policy-wise, the speech is incoherent on many levels. But I also think Trump has found his general election sea legs here, much as Hillary did with her foreign policy speech in San Diego last week.

It should be watched carefully by liberals who might be complacent, thinking Hillary’s got this in the bag.

About Santi Tafarella

I teach writing and literature at Antelope Valley College in California.
This entry was posted in donald trump, hillary clinton, Politics. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Donald Trump’s Orlando Speech, June 13, 2016

  1. Kaypius says:

    Sneaking admiration, eh?😂

    • Santi Tafarella says:

      Hmm. Did I come under the temporary swoon of the demagogue? Yikes. What I was trying to do is listen sympathetically, ignoring (for the moment) the static of idiocy and bigotry to see if I could catch a glimpse of the underlying appeal.

      Something I didn’t say above, but that I’ve figured out since, is that Trump is not making a key distinction in this speech. He says something which is true–Muslim majority countries are anti-feminist, anti-gay equality, antisemitic, patriarchal, and, where democratic, actually practicing the tyranny of the majority, not guaranteeing individual liberties, etc.

      But, here’s where I think he makes a key error. He assumes that Muslims who leave those countries will not be relieved to have free choices, and extend free choices, in a secular-majority country like the United States.

      Most Muslims, for instance, will vote democratic in the upcoming election. The logic of Trump’s speech is that Muslim voters should be aligning themselves with the most reactionary elements of the Christian right in this country–but they don’t, and I think it is precisely because, when Muslims are actually not under the cultural thumb of nationwide Sharia law and threat, they can choose their Islamic practice–and they are happy to let others choose their own lifestyles as well.

      Am I making sense? In other words, if you let an Iranian immigrate, they’re not inwardly bringing the Mullahs with them–at least not most of them. Instead, they’re relieved to have found the island of Thomas Jefferson. Most Muslims are looking for a route to a free society that protects religious practice, and protects freedom from religion as well–and prefer it.

      When Trump fails to make this distinction, he demonizes the Muslims that are here.

      • Kaypius says:

        Completely agree with you! I only meant it in jest:)
        Trump is only working on the paranoia of America ‘browning over’. Going along with him is treacherous. It’s like saying if you can’t have nectar, might as well sip some poison😞

  2. Vincent says:

    Well, I think his alienation of the blacks, hispanics, and moderate religious people is too much for him to overcome. Does Trump think that if he was president there would never be any mass shootings? Once Sanders brings his supporters on board Trump will not be the next president. I just can’t believe the majority of Americans are so, I’m sorry to say, stupid to vote for him. His demeanor and facial expressions reminds me of Mussolini.

    • Santi Tafarella says:

      Agreed. I believe his ex-wife who claimed he kept a copy of Hitler’s speeches near his bed stand, and read from it periodically. I could see Trump doing that. I think he’s a man with a strong temperamental fascist streak.

    • Santi Tafarella says:

      Hmm. The video is interesting, but I wouldn’t be quick to conflate, as Netanyahu does, the behavior of Muslim nations with the behavior of Muslim immigrants. I think part of the pathology of Muslim countries is born of a violent minority that cows a non-fundamentalist majority. Very few attend mosque in Iran, for example. What we’re dealing with in Muslim countries is almost akin to a hostage crisis (with whole countries held hostage to fanatic, hard-driving, and well-organized activists).

      But Netanyahu’s points are taken. If you put Netanyahu’s brain in Trump’s skull, the election would certainly take on a more interesting and competitive character than it has thus far. Trump simply doesn’t have the intelligence, credibility, and focus to win the news cycle anymore, even on issues that one would think should give a self-described “tough guy” a natural advantage.

      • andrewclunn says:

        True. There’s a valid criticism to made made about our current policy and an argument for a tougher stance against violent Islam. Trumps not the guy to make it.

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