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Assault on America, Day 169: Trump train rolled through Orlando, Democrats left tied to track

Trump Orlando rally
If I were a Democrat, I’d be terrified.

Not necessarily for the prospect of being exposed as a fraud -- which most of them are -- but about the likelihood of looking through the wrought iron gates at the White House for another four years after next year’s crucial national election and seeing Donald Trump emerging from the presidential limousine. Democrat faithful have seemingly lulled themselves into a false sense of complacency of late, high off the media’s mostly fawning coverage of party presidential candidates and giddy at the thought of finally getting to see all the would-be Trump beaters up on stage at next week’s first-in-the-cycle primary debates.

But reality tells a very different tale. President Trump officially announced his 2020 reelection bid the other night in Orlando, and it wasn’t so much what he said that should be frightening to Democrats (though there’s plenty there to be worried about too) -- no, it was the hysterical enthusiasm of the conservative partisan multitude that should send shivers up and down the spines of the pro-big government opposition party, (not to mention his “jaw dropping” fundraising total from the day).

Of course, political crowds are always happy. Like an adrenaline-pumped teenager fearlessly hurtling down a ski slope, attendees believe they and their cause will live forever and their chosen candidate will crumble all opponents like the walls of Jericho before the Ark of the Covenant. The moment is everything at a political rally -- the future doesn’t exist… and that’s just the way everyone wants it.

But Democrats should be afraid, very afraid. For the momentum and grassroots fervor that carried Trump to his astonishing (to some) victory in 2016 is still around. Tuesday night’s rousing speech and the audience’s reaction proved it. Tom Howell Jr. and Dave Boyer reported at The Washington Times, “President Trump launched his reelection bid Tuesday by calling his presidency a ‘defining moment’ in American history and pleading for another four years to finish off a Washington swamp that is ‘viciously’ safeguarding its clout.

“Rallying in the battleground state of Florida, Mr. Trump fixated on Democrats in ominous terms, accusing a cabal of opponents of trying to upend the American way of life and revert to a nation that fails to put ‘its own citizens first.’ ‘They want to destroy you and destroy our country as we know it. Not acceptable, it’s not going to happen,’ he told supporters at Orlando’s Amway Center, which seats nearly 20,000.

“First lady Melania Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and his wife, Karen, attended the raucous event, which featured chants of ‘four more years’ and ‘USA! USA!’ from a red sea of supporters in ‘MAGA’ caps. He road-tested his old slogan about making America great versus ‘Keep America Great,’ with the latter seeming to win out with deafening cheers.”

The event was vintage Trump. His speech lasted for well over an hour and touched on just about everything you’d expect to hear from a president who clearly relishes the moment -- not only his time spent at the center of the arena, but every day he’s sitting behind the Resolute desk in the Oval Office plotting strategy on how to “win, win, win” and Make America Great Again. Trump hears the whines and groans of his enemies and it almost seems like he undertakes to fight harder (rather than capitulate), a rare quality in American politics.

Trump didn’t hide his contempt for the media nor his continuing disdain for the snobby elitist Democrat view of ordinary Americans as “deplorables” and “irredeemables,” and emphasized his ongoing fight with the nation’s politically privileged to drain the swamp and bring government back under the control of the people. Trump’s appeal was populist to the core but wasn’t couched in typical political speak -- his words were something everyone could relate to no matter how high or low born, educated or uneducated.

One particularly brilliant aspect of Trump’s address was the overriding “we’re not finished yet” tone of it. Four years isn’t sufficient to bring about the kinds of reforms Trump seeks for the government, and definitely constitutes just a down payment on what must be done to turn things around after decades of establishment rule (from both parties). The New York outsider also didn’t shy away from confronting the culture war, saving particularly harsh criticisms of the Democrats’ all-out deference to the abortion industry.

On trade, Trump once again called for bipartisan congressional approval of the new USMCA agreement with our northern and southern neighbors and challenged leaders to act so working Americans could enjoy the benefits of the groundbreaking accord, specifically referring to the auto industry as heavily impacted. The president also revealed a new pact with South Korea and predicted great things lie ahead with China -- but only if he’s the one applying the pressure from inside the White House.

Ever the showman, Trump regularly strolled around the platform making eye contact with those behind the stage and giving a thumbs up, all the while allowing the crowd to voice their approval for lengths of time. The emotional highpoint of the evening was when Trump brought outgoing press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders up on stage for a fitting goodbye. It wasn’t evident whether the appearance was planned in advance, but it sure looked spontaneous. The humble Huckabee Sanders uttered a few appropriate sentences and exited, saying she was going home to spend more time with her family.

There was humor too. In the course of rehashing the deep state’s hypocritical handling of Hillary Clinton’s private email server (and the tens of thousands of deleted messages after a subpoena was issued), for example, Trump said he would’ve gotten “the electric chair” if he’d done similar things on his watch. The statement was funny -- and true -- and a perfect synopsis of the different standards Republicans and conservatives are held to by the media.

Democrats panned the timing of the rally and Senate Minority Leader “Chucky” Schumer even lectured how Trump should have skipped the whole thing to stay in Washington and brief his caucus on the tense situation with Iran. Democrats will almost certainly dismiss the boisterous crowd as political theater, yet shouldn’t there be concern among them that there isn’t a party member in America who could attract such a devoted throng of supporters?

Trump’s combative disposition is very alluring to a segment of American society sick of being pushed around by the ruling class. Still there are those who argue his personality could cost him the election next year. #NeverTrumper Jonah Goldberg wrote at National Review, “A good economy doesn’t necessarily speak for itself. Normal presidents stay on message to deny the press the ability to talk about more interesting stuff. The only talking point Trump can be counted on to stick to is himself. Hence, his claim to Stephanopoulos that no one has been treated worse than him.

“Trump doesn’t want the election to be about the economy, he wants it — and everything else — to be about him. His exchange with Stephanopoulos was an analogue of every Trump rally. He runs through the talking points about the economy or conservative judges as quickly as possible so he can get to the really important topic: Donald Trump.

“The problem for Trump is that if the central question of the election is him, he will lose because he is not popular.”

Goldberg’s is standard #NeverTrump-drivel that’s been spouted and regurgitated for four years now, namely that the candidate turned GOP nominee turned elected president will never reach the next political plateau because he repels people. And that he’s narcissistic and selfish, a one-man glory hog who doesn’t give a hoot about anyone but himself. It’s a tired and discredited assertion that doesn’t play out in real results. If you don’t believe it, just ask Nancy Pelosi who the president is.

Did the people at Tuesday night’s Trump extravaganza not like his personality? And who are the “swing voters” Goldberg’s so worried about?

Make no mistake, Trump loves attention and relishes the adoration he receives at every public appearance. Trump often claims he’s the best president ever on a lot of fronts -- and can make legitimate cases in favor of many -- but it’s also clear his political second-career is not all about him. He reacts defensively when attacked, but it’s just his nature. Some people get it, some people don’t.

It’s often said politics is show business for ugly people, a truism that applies near-universally to the political class. But not Trump; he already had all the fame and fortune anyone could ever require. Instead, Trump saw a once-proud country in decline and a swampy elite that was fostering it -- and decided to do something about it. And don’t forget, he’s working for free, too (donates his salary to various causes).

A year from now when both parties are gearing up for their nominating conventions few will remember what was done or said at Tuesday night’s Trump reelection announcement rally. People will be too focused on choosing between the candidates then -- and Trump will definitely come out ahead.

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