As I’ve written in the past, I prefer to read news and opinions rather than hear them spoken. So, this morning, I looked to read Trump’s acceptance speech at the RNC last night. Googling “Trump acceptance speech” didn’t produce the results I expected though i.e. transcripts. While Google did return one first-page link that held a transcript (my mistake – I should have added “transcript” to the search), it mostly returned commentary. A few of those commentaries indicated they were “fact checks.”

Curious, I googled “trump speech fact check.” Sure enough, NBCNews, FactCheck, NYTimes, Twitter, NPR, ABC, the Chicago Tribune, PBS, the NY Daily News, and PoliticusUSA appeared on the first search page, each with its fact checks. This “fact check” business is a relatively new phenomenon in political commentary. Unfortunately, it’s not usually what it promises i.e. a dispassionate assessment of claims by politicians and candidates. I’ve found most of them to be tendentious, battling cherry-picked assertions with carefully curated facts. As unfortunately, given that there are fewer and fewer places one can go that don’t crawl with bias of some sort, I usually have to wade through a few of these pages to drill down to facts of substance and devoid of biased presentation.

The fact-checking itself isn’t of primary interest. Rather, the fact that analyzing Trump’s speech via “fact-check” seems to be a common tactic on the morning-after is what’s informative. It’s yet another example of how the political analysis machine of Big Media still doesn’t get the Trump phenomenon.

If this election was about sound policy ideas, Trump would not have gotten out of the gate. If this election was about meticulous analysis, Trump would have been a non-starter. This is why all these fact-check rebuttals are merely echo-chamber fodder for those whose loyalty to the Left is absolute.

Trump’s appeal is his stark contrast to the browbeating that the Left has imposed on America over the past couple decades. Where Obama, Clinton and their ilk have a love for an vision of America that they wish to create (by force if necessary), Trump’s message is that he loves the America that is.

Obama and his proxies have spent years scolding Americans. Political correctness, social justice, subordination of American culture masquerading as “multiculturalism,” “for your own good” nannying, and the dismissal of so many of the concerns of Middle America are, combined, a declaration that how America is and has been is a massive wrong that must be righted by force. All America’s shortcomings of the past are emphasized, and all that has made it the greatest nation of the past century is denigrated. Average folks have been punched down by angry, sanctimonious, holier-than-thou elitists. This was epitomized by Michelle Obama’s infamous denigration of the entirety of American history prior to her husband’s elevation: “For the first time in my adult lifetime, I am really proud of my country” and in Obama’s message of “change.”

Trump’s appeal lies in an appeal to pride, to the American way of yore, to a celebration of all the positives that this country has and has had over its two centuries of existence. The foundation laid by the Left, the over-swing of the pendulum in the direction of multiculturalism and exaltation of foreign ideas and foreign ways, is what led Trump down the nativist path.

Every presidency is a reaction to the previous presidency, and the success of Trump’s nativist message is in no small part due to the anti-nativist message that has permeated the political sphere these past years.

This is why all this fact-checking business isn’t going to amount to a hill of beans. The anti-Trump press still doesn’t get that Trump’s supporters don’t really care about whether Trump lied or exaggerated or spun or misspoke. “After all, the other side has been doing it for years, and Clinton is the queen of it,” is the dismissal. Nor do they care that his policy ideas don’t stand up to history, or that they’re not fleshed out, or that they’re contradictory, that they may come with all sorts of negative effects, or that he’s exhibited signs of authoritarianism on par with Obama and Clinton.

What they care about is that they’ve got someone who’s making them feel good about being American again. That is why Trump won the nomination, and that is why I still think he’s going to win in November.

Peter Venetoklis

About Peter Venetoklis

I am twice-retired, a former rocket engineer and a former small business owner. At the very least, it makes for interesting party conversation. I'm also a life-long libertarian, I engage in an expanse of entertainments, and I squabble for sport.

Nowadays, I spend a good bit of my time arguing politics and editing this website.

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