Donald Trump accepted the Republican Party nomination on Thursday, drawing a “grim and dark” picture of a country in crisis and offering himself as the only one who can help.
Lustily cheered by his supporters on the floor of the convention and in the stands of a large sporting arena, Trump seemed angrier and louder than before, delivering a familiar message.
“Our convention occurs at a moment of crisis for our nation,” he said. “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.”
Trump offered himself as the “law-and-order-candidate”, with a message for law-breakers: “When I take the oath of office next year, I will restore law and order to our country.”
Outside, the city that had turned into a fortress with police officers brought in from around the US, watched nervously as another day of protests passed peacefully.
Clevelanders stayed home mostly, handing over their city to outsiders — Republican Party delegates, protestors, tourists and hordes of news crews from around the world.
“I humbly and gratefully accept your nomination,” started Trump, after being introduced by Ivanka Trump, his daughter and favourite child, according to her siblings.
In the speech, which lasted an hour and 15 minutes, he stressed on building a wall along the Mexican border, keeping out visitors from areas affected by terrorism and making better trade deals.
But he just sounded grim, and his speech was completely bereft of a positive message of hope and optimism that Republican nominees before him have offered the country.
“It is finally time for a straightforward assessment of the state of our nation,” Trump said. “I will present the facts plainly and honestly. We cannot afford to be so politically correct anymore.”
According to him, the crime rate in the US is rising, the number of police officers being killed is up by 50% over the past year, and illegal immigrants with criminal records are “roaming free to threaten peaceful citizens”.
The economy was in a bad way too — unemployment remained high, household income was down, the trade deficit was high, and national debt was $19 trillion, and growing.
But Trump had a plan to fix every problem. “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,” he said.
The nominee detailed his plans, which were much the same he has trotted out before during the primaries. As then and now, he failed, as widely noted, to answer the “how” question.
Shortly before Trump accepted the nomination, an African-American woman walking away from Public Square, a popular venue for protestors, said, “I am waiting to get my city back.”
She would get Cleveland back on Friday, after four days of a tumultuous convention to crown the real estate magnate the Republican nominee for the White House.