President Obama is without a doubt one of the most talented public speakers that I’ve ever seen, and he gave one of the finest speeches that I’ve ever heard at the DNC on Wednesday night. In fact, it was so impressive that even conservatives are holding it up as the kind of address the United States needs.
And as you can imagine, they are absolutely livid at the GOP and Trump — after all, with that one speech, President Obama demolished everything that transpired at their convention.
“They’re trying to take all our stuff”
On Wednesday, President Obama gave a fundamentally optimistic speech that praised America’s inclusive democracy. Some conservative observers have suggested that the speech, which quoted the Declaration of Independence and framed the United States as a “light of freedom, dignity, and human rights,” actually did a better job of expressing so-called “conservative values” than anything Trump has ever said.
For instance, Tim Miller, the co-founder of the America Rising PAC and former communications director for Jeb Bush, rather sharply noted the disparity between the two conventions — “fear, fear, fear” versus “hope, hope, hope” — and asked rather pointed why young people would sign up with the RNC.
But he wasn’t the only conservative who noted the difference: New York Times columnist Ross Douthat noted that Obama’s speech should make any GOPer ashamed of what their party’s become.
You’ll note that most of them are part of the #NeverTrump movement, so they have a political dog in the race. That doesn’t stop them from being right, however.
Now, I don’t entirely agree with the idea that the virtues President Obama defended are “conservative virtues.” American exceptionalism nauseates me on principle, so they can have that. However, I think Trump is doing a fine job of representing what American conservatives have always stood for — xenophobia, racism, hate, fear, ignorance, traditionalism, and lies are all conservative values, and they have been since the Southern Democrats jumped ship and signed on with Nixon in the 1960s.
They weren’t brave enough to openly vocalize it until their strongman Trump told them it was okay.
I mean, hell, even the invocation — isn’t religion supposed to give hope? — at the RNC was a venomous tirade. That captures everything that’s wrong with the reactionary right. Even their religion is hate, and it always has been.
And Obama just sharply contrasted all of that with the hope for the future. No, Hillary and the DNC aren’t perfect. But even Republicans who hate Obama realize that their party’s rotted inside out. November will be a referendum on all the reactionary values the RNC has embodied since the 1960s, and we as a nation will either decide that after decades of supporting fascist dictatorships in Latin America of we want one ourselves or that we’re going to vote hope and optimism. There isn’t a middle ground anymore, because there was never really a middle ground to begin with.
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