Tom Barrack and the Rest of Donald Trump’s Friends
Tom Barrack is one of Donald Trump’s friends, and like all of Donald Trump’s friends, he isn’t a great public speaker. But unlike the rest of Donald Trump’s friends, he is perfectly comfortable speaking in public. One might even call him too comfortable. His speech had the fake intimacy of someone giving a wedding toast for a couple he only kind of knew. And like all of Trump’s buddies, his anecdotes that were supposed to illustrate how great a guy Donald is were totally incomprehensible to anyone who isn’t rich. He first told a story of how Trump “played [him] like a Steinway piano” with a negotiation tactic on a business deal. He then told another in which they shared a helicopter flight to a Mike Tyson fight, wherein the “little guy” Donald Trump takes pity on is a guy rich enough to be backstage and have employees. And the big favor Trump does for this “little guy” is giving him an autograph for his son. Lemme tell you, my heart just melted.
The entire backbone of Trump’s convention speech was that “on January 20, 2017, safety will be restored.” He went on to list a number of facts that explained why he needed to take America and flip it. He said that homicides were up, without noting that crime has been going down nationally for years. It’s undoubtedly troubling that crime has been going up in a few cities around the country recently, in a way that needs to be addressed. But, as Slate notes, “the president has no role in appointing the vast majority of the country’s prosecutors and law enforcement officials.”
He went on to talk about undocumented immigrants who are “roaming free to threaten peaceful citizens.” Guess what: Immigrants are less likely to commit violent crime than people born in the U.S. People don’t think that though, mostly because of speeches like Trump’s.
Police killings have gone down during the Obama administration. The trade deficit in 2015 was $500 billion, not $800 billion. The United States is not one of the most heavily taxed countries in the world. Trump mentioned Hillary Clinton’s support for the war in Iraq without noting that he and his running mate supported it too. It would take all of the words we are allotted for this post to list all the lies in this speech.
Trump’s speeches have been heavily spiced with exaggerations and lies designed to make the world look terrifying since way before he descended that escalator a year ago, and he still became the Republican nominee. He was up there giving that speech Thursday night because there are many people who have a feeling that there is no way that the facts could be right, because they definitely feel that the past eight years have made America worse.
There are no facts that could convince them that this dread was misplaced, but there are plenty of terrifying statements, stripped of context, that could make them feel much worse.
And people do.
The Confusion Prompted by Ivanka Trump’s Vision of the Trump Platform
Trump’s eldest daughter confirmed her status as favorite child by giving the introduction for her father’s big speech. She also proved that she is perhaps even more of a magician than her dad, who was about to promise the elimination of crime, illegal immigration, and deficits.
According to Ivanka, her father would support pretty progressive policies for women, like equal pay and paid leave. She also mentioned that her dad would help those with student debt. Trump did not mention any of these policies in his speech, as he was too busy explaining how America was about to become 10 times worse than Orson Welles’s War of the Worlds radio program if he wasn’t elected.
Earlier in the night, Peter Thiel talked about how he was proud to be gay on the convention stage. He said that the fight over transgender bathroom access was a “distraction from our real problem.” Gay Republicans tried to make the platform more inclusive this year. It didn’t work. Trump, enunciating each letter carefully like he was sounding out a new word from the dictionary, mentioned LGBTQ Americans in his speech, and said, “I have to say, as a Republican it is so nice to hear you cheering for what I just said. Thank you.” He didn't mention any changes in how his party would approach gay rights, not even in the broad strokes that he applied to every other issue on his to-do list.
Outside the arena, the word “bitch” was everywhere. The Trump campaign pays women less than men. Trump reportedly called a lawyer who requested to leave during a deposition to pump breast milk “disgusting.” He once said, “if Ivanka weren’t my daughter, perhaps I would be dating her.” He once talked about 1-year-old Tiffany’s future boobs.
In conclusion, it definitely seems like Ivanka’s right and we can expect that a Trump administration would eradicate crime completely, make ISIS disappear, make everyone rich, and ALSO implement major parts of Hillary Clinton’s platform. Sounds very possible, yes indeed.
Thinking About This for Too Long
In an ad-lib, Donald Trump thanked his female family members for the job they did speaking at the convention, saying “Melania and Ivanka, did they do a job?” Donald’s daughter, Tiffany, spoke two nights ago. HOW DO YOU FORGET ONE OF YOUR FAMILY MEMBERS?
The Founding Fathers
Benjamin Franklin has removed his bifocals and is crying silently, not bothering to wipe away his tears. Thomas Jefferson is staring off into the middle distance. A long time passes between each time he blinks. Thomas Paine keeps shaking his head every few minutes, muttering. When you ask him what he just said, he looks up as if he’s just awoken from a dream. Paul Revere has locked himself in the bathroom and won’t come out. All you can hear is an uninterrupted stream of water running in the sink. Alexander Hamilton is pretending to read; it’s clear he’s pretending because he hasn’t turned a page in several hours. George Washington has removed his dentures and refuses to speak even when spoken to. Francis Scott Key is slowly, systematically removing books from his bookshelf, tearing out their pages one by one, crumpling them, and throwing them on the ground. John Hancock is crouched by the fireplace, listlessly stirring the dying ashes.