Donald Trump Wants To Embrace Everyone By Reminding America It Should Be Terrified Of All Alternatives
On Wednesday, presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump gave a much-hyped speech about the myriad evils of one Hillary Clinton, arguing that her judgement and lack of integrity are behind the deterioration of the Middle East and that her presidency would be a national and global disaster. For those of you who had better things to do with your time, the tl;dr essence of the speech was that no matter who you are, what identities and demographics you associate yourself with, Trump will protect you. Clinton, who might as well basically be responsible for ISIS in Trump's world, will indiscriminately open the nation’s doors to people who want to kill you.
This sentiment was remarkably egalitarian in its breadth and totality. Whether you are a woman, a “good” Muslim
, or a member of the LGBT community, ISIS — and radical Islam at large — probably has specific reasons for wanting you dead, and Clinton will let that happen. But not Trump. Trump cares. Trump cares about all of you.
It’s an interesting tactic for a Republican politician. Trump recently emended his well-known slogan to “Make America Great Again For Everyone,” and to that, he certainly appears to be cleaving. The new plan appears to be to abandon the historical dictates of which demographics the GOP will and will not support, to certain degrees, and to just embrace everyone, indiscriminately, while throwing his full, fear-sowing weight behind the narrative that his political rival will get them killed.
On paper, it seems like a Hail Mary, but in practice some might find it quite appealing. As the primary race ends and the general begins, this shift could mark the beginning of a new pivot for Trump — this is his interpretation of electability. This is what Trump being “presidential” looks like.
The GOP establishment might find this strategy appealing. While it might be tough for some in the GOP to swallow Trump’s sort-of/quasi/relative support for the LGBT community (without his actually supporting nationwide marriage equality), Wednesday's Trump speech showed an actual coherent strategy: Target ISIS; target Clinton; make it known to every last voter that he alone will protect them from those twin evils. That’s a much more effective general election campaign than scattershot ramblings about the whatever villain of the day Trump decides warrants a tweet.
Of course, many of the demographics Trump just tried to court — Muslims, the LGBT community and allies, women, African Americans — will see the speech for what it was and not be particularly moved by pandering and fear-mongering. The Human Rights Campaign already effectively said "no thanks" to Trump outreach. But some independents might be taken with Trump's speech. Also, Trump now has some freedom to reach out to groups outside his base. They’ll vote for him regardless — and he knows that.
Image: Bustle/Dawn Foster