A triumphant Donald Trump accepted the Republican White House nomination, promising fearful Americans he would restore “safety” to a country mired in crises that had lost its way.
Trump “humbly and gratefully” endorsed the Republican mantle before 2,000 raucous party activists in Cleveland, in a strikingly populist speech that offered a dark view of today’s America.
Between defining chants of “U-S-A” and “Trump, Trump, Trump” the mogul-turned-TV-star-turned-politico cast himself as the “law and order candidate” and vowed to champion “people who work hard but no longer have a voice.”
“I am your voice,” he declared pointing into the cameras, promising a return to more secure times with “millions of new jobs and trillions in new wealth.”
Tapping into public angst over recent racially-tinged shootings and seemingly indiscriminate terror attacks, Trump offered a tough-on-crime message that was reminiscent of Richard Nixon’s election-winning strategy in 1968.
The “crime and violence that today afflicts our nation will soon, and I mean very soon, come to an end,” he said.
“Beginning on January 20, of 2017, safety will be restored.”
But Trump also showed why he is one of the most controversial US politicians in living memory.
Speaking for over an hour, he repeated many of the hard right themes from a bruising primary campaign.
Foreigners from terror-linked countries would be banned, a wall will be built on the Mexican border and trade deals would be ripped up and renegotiated.
“Nobody knows the system better than me, which is why I alone can fix it,” he said.
Trump’s campaign has defied political norms — fueling racial tensions, offending key voting blocs, eschewing big-spending ad buys and an elaborate campaign organization.
It has relied instead on heavy media coverage.
But his roller-coaster campaign defeated 16 rivals and steamrolled stubborn party opposition after being written off as a joke.
He has shocked foreign leaders by questioning key pillars of American foreign policy.
He recently hedged on normally sacrosanct support for NATO allies, warning it would depend “if they fulfill their commitments to us.”
In office, Trump promised to “put America first.”
Americans, he said, have “lived through one international humiliation after another.”
“The most important difference between our plan and that of our opponents, is that our plan will put America First.”
“Americanism, not globalism, will be our credo,” he said. “The American people will come first once again.”