Typically, convention speeches are designed to humanize the candidate, to sand off the political varnish, to see through the complex policy, and instead show the personality and charm of the person underneath. They’re typically filled with personal anecdotes about conquering adversity and overcoming obstacles to rise through life and politics.
But Donald Trump is anything but typical.
“I was never comfortable getting personal about my family because I thought it was special territory,” Trump said in a pre-convention interview, glancing down at a picture of his father. “It can feel exploitative to use family stories to win votes. And I had a very happy and comfortable life growing up. I had a great relationship with my father. But my focus needs to be on all the Americans who are struggling.”
And that’s exactly what his speech did. He spent a few words thanking his family, praising his father, and remembering his late brother—who died as an alcoholic at the age of 43—but the vast majority of his speech was devoted to becoming a father figure to Americans who have for too long been forgotten, or worse, exploited by our leaders in Washington.
Big business, elite media and major donors are lining up behind the campaign of my opponent because they know she will keep our rigged system in place. They are throwing money at her because they have total control over everything she does. She is their puppet, and they pull the strings.
That is why Hillary Clinton’s message is that things will never change. My message is that things have to change – and they have to change right now. Every day I wake up determined to deliver for the people I have met all across this nation that have been neglected, ignored, and abandoned.
I have visited the laid-off factory workers, and the communities crushed by our horrible and unfair trade deals. These are the forgotten men and women of our country. People who work hard but no longer have a voice.
I AM YOUR VOICE.
Liberals once sought to speak for the working- and middle-class voters. They promised them government-funded jobs, and when there weren’t enough to go around, government-funded services. And yet all that taxpayer-funded, debt-financed money couldn’t even paper over the problem. Companies fled from higher taxes, small business and entrepreneurs were crushed by bureaucratic cronyism, and Americans became poorer and more dependent and less confident than ever before.
Donald Trump is here to take up their mantle on behalf of the Republican Party.
“I have no patience for injustice, no tolerance for government incompetence, no sympathy for leaders who fail their citizens,” he told a cheering crowd. “When innocent people suffer, because our political system lacks the will, or the courage, or the basic decency to enforce our laws – or worse still, has sold out to some corporate lobbyist for cash – I am not able to look the other way.”
Instead, he looks the problem straight in the face, calls it out for what it is (even if that means not abiding by the unwritten rules of political correctness), and sets about to fix it. In business we call these market disruptors. Inevitably, they make people uncomfortable because they threaten to upend the status quo. These disruptors are able to look at the world through a different lens in order to identify a problem that other people missed, or purposefully overlooked, and then formulate a solution that changes the world.
Donald Trump is a disruptor. He doesn’t see things through a purely political lens. He doesn’t abide by the limits of traditional party platforms. Instead, he sees problems that others ignore—a rigged system, a stagnant economy, unchecked foreign threats, an erosion of law and order, and an unwillingness to defend American exceptionalism in an era of globalism—and he fixes them. Not because he has to. But because he believes in America and Americans. And because he can. As Trump concluded his historic speech:
My opponent asks her supporters to recite a three-word loyalty pledge. It reads: “I’m With Her”. I choose to recite a different pledge.
My pledge reads: “I’M WITH YOU – THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.”
Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore. See more of his work HERE.