Trump acceptance speech echoes thoughts from long dead senator

Trump acceptance speech

Trump’s acceptance speech capped the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. (Photo: Day on the Day via C-SPAN)

On Thursday when Donald Trump formally accepted the Republican presidential nomination, he launched into a speech that echoed thoughts expressed by a long dead senator, Jacob Merritt Howard of Michigan.

Most Democrats or Republicans probably don’t recognize his name although he played a major role in politics and in the GOP. I figure after Trump’s acceptance speech, Howard would likely agree with much of what Trump said. Why?

Jacob Merritt Howard

Portrait of Jacob Merritt Howard from Brady-Handy Photograph Collection, US Library of Congress.

Trump revised Hillary Clinton’s “I’m with her” to “I’m with you.” Trump’s sense of populism and America First are such a foreign thought among politics media that analysts on CNN were freaking out. Those analysts’ reactions are another reminder of just how disconnected the political class and bottom feeder pundits are from the US middle class.

Howard is credited for a number of things, including drawing up the first platform for the Republican Party.

Howard, an attorney, was practical. The times he lived in were as conflicted as ours are today. He knew that ending slavery was inevitable. But that isn’t what made me think of him as I watched Trump speak on Thursday.

Howard made a speech about a territorial dispute between the US and Britain over San Juan Island. The Republic was still young then; the secession from England wasn’t a distant historical note. Howard said:

“In short, sir, it is folly to affect ignorance of the truth—the gigantic, overshadowing truth, that the governing and commercial classes of England yearned for the destruction of our government; hungered and thirsted to see the American Government, that Government whose fundamental principle is that all political power resides in the people, utterly destroyed. This Government was and is a standing scoff, flung in the teeth of legitimacy and aristocracy everywhere. It is the Government of popular rule, the Government of liberty, in antagonism to privilege. It was natural they should wish to see it extinguished. Such a result would have been a verification of their teachings…that the theory that the mass of the people can govern themselves was a delusion…”

As Trump earned votes throughout the primary and caucus season, many of us were definitely surprised. Personally, I had a hard time at first taking his candidacy seriously. After all, he wasn’t the usual politico.

The political class, both purist conservatives and leftists, still have a very hard time accepting Trump. Most of us, however, aren’t on the far end of either spectrum.

Howard’s words resonate today as an outsider prepares to take on the dangerous apparatchik the Clintons have built. Our country is being dismantled piece by piece and our citizens are being pitted against one another based purely on the color of one’s complexion or sexuality.

The Trump campaign has indeed been “a standing scoff, flung in the teeth of…aristocracy everywhere…in antagonism to privilege.”

This is why the battle of 2016 will be a Trump v the World battle. Bureaucrats, globalist cronies, and foreign actors seeking to loot US taxpayers’ treasury have good cause to freak out. Ideologues and others who demand voters accept no-compromise stances will be disappointed.

Trump hasn’t been bought. He puts America First, and he has welcomed all to that Big Tent the GOP finally managed to reconstruct.

I think Howard would like much about the GOP nominee’s campaign. Trump is most definitely the people’s nominee.”

Mrs. Clinton is, on the other hand, the “Super Delegates’” nominee, having been anointed by her party power brokers before the first primary or caucus was held.

(Commentary by Kay B. Day/July 22, 2016)

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About Kay Day

Kay B. Day is a freelance writer who has published in national and international magazines and websites. The author of 3 books, her work is anthologized in textbooks and collections. She has won awards for poetry, nonfiction and fiction. Day is a member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors and the Authors Guild.
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