* In case you were not able to watch Hillary Clinton’s speech in Reno this afternoon, here is the video.
Now, I know some people still want to give Trump the benefit of the doubt.
They hope that he will eventually reinvent himself – that there’s a kinder, gentler, more responsible Donald Trump waiting in the wings somewhere.
After all, it’s hard to believe anyone – let alone a nominee for President of the United States – could really believe all the things he says.
But the hard truth is, there’s no other Donald Trump. This is it.
Maya Angelou once said: “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.”
Well, throughout his career and this campaign, Donald Trump has shown us exactly who he is. We should believe him.
* Clinton pulled together – in this one speech – all the ways Trump has shown us who is in the past and throughout this campaign including: discriminating against people of color in his real estate holdings, getting fined for repeatedly removing black dealers from the floor of his casinos, re-launching the whole “birther” movement, calling Mexican immigrants rapists and criminals, suggesting that a federal judge can’t be trusted because of his Mexican heritage. Clinton then went on to discuss Trump’s embrace of ugly conspiracy theories/theorists and the racist policies he has proposed. Next, she reminded people about the background of his campaign’s new CEO, who ran an organization that published headlines like these:
“Birth Control Makes Women Unattractive and Crazy.”
“Would You Rather Your Child Had Feminism or Cancer?”
“Gabby Giffords: The Gun Control Movement’s Human Shield”
“Hoist It High And Proud: The Confederate Flag Proclaims A Glorious Heritage.”
That one came shortly after the Charleston massacre, when Democrats and Republicans alike were doing everything they could to heal racial divides. Breitbart tried to enflame them further.
Just imagine – Donald Trump reading that and thinking: “this is what I need more of in my campaign.”
In other words, she didn’t miss a thing. But it was all a lead-in to explain what’s really going on.
Of course there’s always been a paranoid fringe in our politics, steeped in racial resentment. But it’s never had the nominee of a major party stoking it, encouraging it, and giving it a national megaphone. Until now.
On David Duke’s radio show the other day, the mood was jubilant.
“We appear to have taken over the Republican Party,” one white supremacist said.
Duke laughed. There’s still more work to do, he said.
No one should have any illusions about what’s really going on here. The names may have changed… Racists now call themselves “racialists.” White supremacists now call themselves “white nationalists.” The paranoid fringe now calls itself “alt-right.” But the hate burns just as bright.
And now Trump is trying to rebrand himself as well. Don’t be fooled.
* Clinton delivered most of this speech in a calm, conversational tone. It conveyed the gravity of the moment and the sincerity with which she approached this topic.
* Here are a couple of tweets that sum it all up:
This is @HillaryClinton as president. Right here. There is a threat to our nation and she is giving a state address to tell us she's got it.
— Melissa McEwan (@Shakestweetz) August 25, 2016
It's not Hillary vs GOP, it's America vs Trump.
— Greg Dworkin (@DemFromCT) August 25, 2016