Trump’s Speech Makes It Official: It’s Democrat v. Democrat in 2016

Source: National Review | July 22, 2016 | David French

The GOP nominee proposes himself as the sole solution to the nation’s ills. That’s the opposite of conservative.

In the battle over the role of government in American life, it’s clear that the Left is winning decisively. The era of small government is over. As Donald Trump’s convention speech made clear, the election of 2016 is a race between an old-school Democrat and a new-school progressive — between a post-war Teamsters’ boss and a university professor. Actual conservatism is nowhere in sight.

I can’t recall a Republican speech in my lifetime that put such an overwhelming emphasis on the ability of a national leader to transform American lives. I and I alone will protect Americans from ISIS, from domestic crime, and from the free market, Trump declared. Corporations won’t move their factories, wages will increase, and trade will suddenly become fair. How? Don’t ask. He’ll make it so.

Nor can I remember a modern Republican speech that put less emphasis on life, liberty, or the Constitution. He never mentioned abortion or Roe v. Wade. His discussion of religious liberty focused entirely around the Johnson Amendment — obscure legislation that has kept churches out of politics — and neglected the far more grave concerns about the independence and even existence of religious institutions in the face of increasingly militant secular progressives. In a speech that lasted 75 minutes and felt even longer, he used the word “freedom” once. “Liberty” was nowhere to be found.

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In other words: The southern Democrat is back. The old-school Midwest union boss is back. They have their champion, and he’s the GOP nominee. For now, the Left has won. The only real question is which version of big-government liberalism will prevail in November.

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