New York Times (Opinion)
By Elizabeth Williamson
June 16, 2016
Donald Trump’s rally in Atlanta on Wednesday provided his fellow Republicans, and the nation, with further evidence that a more presidential Mr. Trump may be a long time coming. After two teleprompter-assisted speeches, the unscripted Mr. Trump was back.
Cheering crowds visibly thrill Mr. Trump, and he tends to trawl for applause with stream-of-consciousness hyperbole. In the aftermath of the Orlando attack on Sunday, Mr. Trump has been saying that the global spate of terrorist attacks over the past year prove the truth of his pronouncements against Muslims and immigrants.
“We’re having the blood sucked out of us. We’re having horrible things happen where we’re allowing people into our country that don’t deserve to be in our country and bad things are gonna be happening,” he told the crowd in Atlanta.
“I know people are gonna criticize me, they’re gonna say oh what a horrible thing that is, what a horrible thing. And in a year or two or three from now, they’ll say you know, Trump was right.”
That’s the utility of Mr. Trump’s substance-free appeal to fear: His supporters can interpret any terrible event as proof that he’s right.
Below are a few more examples from his 70-minute speech in Atlanta.
I’ve been talking about it for a long time. And I’ve been saying it’s going to happen. And I hate to say it again, but it’s going to happen again and again and again. Because we’re not doing what we have to be doing. It’s going to happen again and again and again. And we are not doing what we’re supposed to be doing. We are taking in thousands of people into our country. We have no idea where they come from, we have no idea who the hell they are. We know they believe in certain things that we don’t want to believe in. […] Every law enforcement person that I’ve spoken to, and that you watch and that you read, is saying it’s very hard if not impossible, to check out people—there’s just no papers, there are no papers. And yet you see this great migration, which is a horrible thing to watch. […]
We are getting a tremendous—thank you, thank you—we are getting a tremendous amount of credit, because over the last three days, people are realizing—over the last three days, people are realizing what’s going on.
Paris has, they say, the toughest gun laws in the world. France generally speaking, the toughest in the world. And these thugs walked in. They used to call them in the press masterminds. I said you can’t call them masterminds. That’s why the young kids are joining. They’re joining ISIS, they want to be a mastermind. But thugs, these thugs, I call them the guy with the dirty white cap. The thugs walked into different places, boom boom boom boom boom there was nobody with gun—nobody on the other side. There was nobody could do anything. And they got killed 130 people killed. Viciously killed. Hundreds still in the hospital with the most horrible injuries. And now we have the same thing in Orlando.
So Belgium is a beautiful city. And an amazing place, magnificent buildings. I was there many many years ago. And I had always this incredible image. And a number of months ago I made the statement, something to the effect, Belgium’s a hell hole. And I was badly criticized, they said what a terrible thing. And then they had the massive problem in Belgium. And people said Trump was right, Trump was right. I don’t want to be right. I don’t want to be right. I don’t want to be right.
We’re not respected by these people. They come into our country, they want to take it over. Look at what’s happening in Germany. A catastrophe. I have friends from Germany that for 20 years have been telling me how great Germany is, what a great place to live. Some of these people are leaving the country now. They’re leaving. Their crime rate is through the roof. Things are happening that are horrendous. And you see what’s happening to women. You see what’s happening all over Germany now. It was a horrific mistake, it was a terrible mistake. Now they’ll say it wasn’t, it’s wonderful. You build, as I said—and if Germany had anything to do again, I don’t think that she would ever admit it, and let’s see how she does in the next election, assuming there’s gonna be an election and she’s gonna run. But if Germany had it to do again, I’m sure they would have put up billions of dollars to do just as I said, safe zones in Syria, make them nice. Anything’s cheaper and anything’s better than what’s going on now in Germany. And other countries.
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