Many years ago in my entropic youth, before I evolved into the refined and restrained specimen you see before you, I was hauled into San Diego Superior Court to answer for operating a motor vehicle at speeds in excess of the lawful limit. While awaiting my turn to enter my “guilty” plea and receive my duly entitled penalty, a young man ahead of me entered one of those tedious pleas, more usual than not, of “guilty with an explanation.”
It seemed, he intoned in a measured, breathless, conspiratorial voice dripping with sinister innuendo, that the police officer followed him for several blocks after he committed the alleged violation before pulling him over. Mercifully the judge interrupted him and, to the amusement of the entire court, said, “The officer probably just couldn’t believe his eyes and wanted to see what you were going to do next.”
I was reminded of those words while watching Donald Trump’s Tuesday night speech. I simply couldn’t believe my ears and wanted to see what Trump was going to say next. If you were paying strict attention, perhaps you noticed how the speech began, like a Mafia Don addressing his capos, “My fellow Americans, tonight I’m a-speakin’ to you.” Really he did. Listen to it again if you don’t believe me.
The predictable catalog of thousands of Americans horribly murdered by members of the brown hordes of humanity flooding across the southern border ensued right on schedule. Why it’s all the fault of the Democrats ensued also. And so on. I think my favorite line in the whole speech was the one where Trump said, between sniffs, “Over the last several years I’ve met with dozens of families whose loved ones were stolen by illegal immigration.” That line made me laugh out loud.
I won’t bore you with a roundup of a complete recitation of the lies Donald Trump told in the course of the speech. What struck me about the speech was, here is a man who has the entire resources and the very best speech writers of the United States government at his disposal, and that was the best he could do. A lame presentation of a transparently idiotic conspiracy theory is amusing and even expected in traffic court. At the very highest levels of government in the richest nation on earth? Somewhat less so, to say the least.
Robert Harrington is an American expat living in Britain. He is a portrait painter.