In many ways, the closing night of the RNC is exactly what people would expect from this president: a grand, unprecedented spectacle. From the striking White House backdrop to a fireworks display that rivaled every Fourth of July, Thursday wasn't just vintage Donald Trump. It was vintage America. The sense of national pride -- that embarrassing sentiment Democrats have been trying to stash in the back of everyone's closets -- washed over the night like a wave. And after so many months of chaos, fear, and despair, there was one overriding feeling: relief.
If anything can disarm a torn and hurting nation, it's the power of patriotism. And despite a long speech, that's what spoke loudest. No one watching this star-spangled finale could have possibly gone to bed thinking this president doesn't love his country. Or that he, for all of his short-comings, hadn't done over the course of these three and a half years what he promised to do. While the media rolled its eyes through the 6,000-word trip through his first term, the fact is, President Trump wouldn't have needed so much time if he hadn't lived up to his end of the 2016 bargain. He did. And every sentence of his nomination acceptance reminded us.
As Ivanka Trump pointed out in her introduction, "My father has strong convictions. He knows what he believes and says what he thinks. Whether you agree with him or not, you always know where he stands. I recognize that my dad's communication style is not to everyone's taste, and I know that his tweets can feel a bit unfiltered, but the results -- the results speak for themselves." And in the end, for all of the flags and the stunning White House façade, that was the most impressive backdrop of Thursday night -- this president's accomplishments.
His reflections wound through the economy, taxes, jobs, trade, and his decisive action on the Iran nuclear deal and Paris climate treaty. He looked back on rebuilding the military, opportunity zones, historic wage and employment gains for minority communities. There were the highlights from his unprecedent progress in Israel, his commitment to police and community order, but it was the stark contrast on basic questions of humanity between the two parties that might resonate most. After almost four years of the most pro-life administration in history, the president made it clear what -- and who -- would be lost under the Democratic nominee.
"Joe Biden claims he has empathy for the vulnerable, yet the party he leads supports the extreme late-term abortion of defenseless babies, right up until the moment of birth. Democrat leaders talk about moral decency, but they have no problem with stopping a baby's beating heart in the ninth month of pregnancy. Democrat politicians refuse to protect innocent life, and then they lecture us about morality and saving America's soul. Tonight, we proudly declare that all children, born and unborn, have a God-given right to life."
The president was right when he said, "everything we have achieved is now in danger." And not just everything, but based on the Democrats' abortion radicalism, everyone. "At no time before have voters faced a clearer choice between two parties, two visions, two philosophies or two agendas... This election will decide whether we will defend the American dream or whether we allow a socialist agenda to demolish our cherished destiny."
As he's done since day one, President Trump vowed to "uphold your religious liberty" -- a fact no American doubts after the sincerity he and his administration have shown on our First Freedom here and abroad. But don't expect that same commitment under Obama's vice president, he warned. Despite all the tire-pumping on the former VP's Catholic roots, his party couldn't keep the act up long enough to even recite the Pledge of Allegiance. "During the Democrat convention, the words 'under God' were removed from the Pledge... Not once, but twice. We will never do that. But the fact is, this is where they are coming from. Like it or not, this is where they are coming from."
Under Biden, freedom isn't safe, the president insisted, and neither are families. While rioters harassed people outside the White House gates, the president underscored the point: "If you give power to Joe Biden, the radical left will defund police departments all across America... They will make every city look like Democrat-run Portland, Oregon." The message of 2020, Michael Doughtery writes, unlike so many other years, "is that the threat to America comes from within..."
And sadly, the violence, rioting, and destruction are only part of that story. The burning of American cities has been a literal smoke screen for the Democrats' real agenda, which the president spelled out in no uncertain terms. "Joe Biden is a Trojan horse for socialism," he warned. He "may claim to be an ally of the light," Trump said, but the reality "is that when it comes to his agenda, Biden wants to keep us completely in the dark." But America, he insisted, "is not a land cloaked in darkness. America is the torch that enlightens the entire world... and "over the next four years, we will prove worthy of this magnificent legacy. Together, we are unstoppable. Together, we are unbeatable. Because together, we are the proud citizens of the United States of America."