As editor of COMMENTARY and as a newspaper columnist, I have commissioned, edited, and written hundreds of thousands of words on the dreadful mistakes and parlous consequences of the Obama presidency. I’d link to examples, but there are too many, and I wouldn’t know where to begin. Under Obama, America has become less free, more regulated, and less bound to constitutional norms. And I believe his foreign policy has made America less safe and the world more chaotic.
Still, what Donald Trump did in his acceptance speech at the convention Thursday night in trying to establish the contrast between himself and Obama’s successor Hillary Clinton was shocking, even for the shock-jock of presidential candidates. It was a blast of anti-American sentiment and Spenglerian despair that might fit his own political marketing plan but is nothing less than a repellent slander against these United States. I could be fancy and find myself a quote from Tocqueville, but it’s really the philosopher Merle Haggard who said it best: “When you’re running down my country, Hoss, you’re walking on the fighting side of me.” Trump spent nearly 77 minutes running down my beloved country, and I don’t take kindly to it.