What others say: For Trump, it may be later than he thinks

  • Wednesday, August 17, 2016 5:14pm
  • Opinion

Three weeks before Labor Day, Donald Trump supporters might scoff at arguments that he’s running short of time to shift the national political narrative from his gaffe-tastic asides to his presidential bona fides.

Well, with the obvious assumptions built in: What if this is all there is?

Trump’s campaign team spent the weekend ginning up interest in a “major” speech Monday at Youngstown State University in Ohio, specifically his plan to defeat the Islamic State. The answer would be in the eye of the beholder.

If nothing else, it was a fairly pedestrian address delivered by a guy who looked very much like Donald Trump, determined to keep his eyes on his Teleprompter, insults held to a minimum.

Despite a crowd that appeared impatient for big applause or laugh lines, Trump stuck to script, as many prominent Republicans have been begging him to do.

The short version: Roughly every measure taken by the Obama administration had been wrong. Voters, Trump said, should remember that Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton was Obama’s secretary of state and intimately involved — and that the trouble started even before, when George W. Bush authorized the war in Iraq.

What to do about all that? On that, Trump had fewer specifics.

He would be clear that radical Islamic terrorism was the enemy posing a mortal threat to America: “We can’t always choose our friends, but we can never fail to recognize our enemies.”

The idea of exporting American-style democracy? “If I am elected president, the era of nation building will be brought to a swift and decisive end.”

Despite Clinton’s criticism of his ties to Russian leader Vladimir Putin, Trump would expand the relationship as president, including joint operations and intelligence sharing on counter-terrorism. A Trump administration, he said, would shut down internet use by Islamic State adherents.

And he doubled down on his constitutionally dubious idea of halting immigration from primarily Muslim nations. He pledged to develop an “ideological screening test” for immigration applicants, seeking to admit only those who embrace American values, as yet to be defined.

“We will be tough. We will be even extreme. Extreme,” he said, including a temporary suspension of immigration from “the most dangerous regions in the world,” as determined by his departments of State and Homeland Security.

His campaign had forecast that he would stick to broad strokes and planned future addresses to continue filling in blanks. For now, the blanks are winning.

University of Texas professor Christopher Wlezian, co-author of The Timeline of Presidential Elections: How Campaigns Do (and Do Not) Matter, noted to politico.com that the presidential polling leader coming out of the conventions has won the last 16 popular votes.

Until further notice, that’s Clinton. Coming from behind hasn’t happened in the modern era, even for candidates without Trump’s baggage.

As legendary principal W.P. Durrett liked to remind (and remind) students at Dallas’ Kimball High School, “It’s later than you think.” For Donald Trump, another opportunity disappeared with the passing of another day.

— The Dallas Morning News,

Aug. 15

More in Opinion

Gov. Mike Dunleavy discusses his veto of a wide-ranging education bill during a press conference March 16 at the Alaska State Capitol. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire file photo)
Governor, please pay more attention to Alaskans

Our governor has been a busy guy on big issues.

A roll of “I voted” stickers sit at the Alaska Division of Elections office in Juneau in 2022. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire File)
Strengthening democracy: Native vote partners to boost voter registration

GOTNV and VPC are partnering to send over 4,000 voter registration applications this month to addresses and P.O. boxes all over Alaska

Priya Helweg is the acting regional director and executive officer for the Region 10 Office of Intergovernmental and External Affairs, Office of the Secretary, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (Photo courtesy U.S. Department of Health and Human Services)
Happy Pride Month

This month is dedicated to acknowledging and uplifting the voices and experiences of the LGBTQI+ community

Hiroko Masuike/The New York Times
Former President Donald Trump arrives at Trump Tower after he was found guilty of all counts in his criminal trial in New York on May 30.
Opinion: Trump’s new fixers

Fixers from Alaska and elsewhere step in after guilty verdict

Ballot booths are set up inside Kenai City Hall on Thursday, Sept. 29, 2022, in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Perspective from an election worker

Here is what I know about our Kenai Peninsula Borough election system

Apayauq Reitan, the first transgender woman to participate in the Iditarod, tells the House Education Committee on March 30, 2023, why she opposes a bill restricting transgender rights. (Mark Sabbatini/Juneau Empire file photo)
Opinion: The imaginary transgender sports crisis

House Bill 183 is a right-wing solution to a problem that doesn’t exist now and never will.

Sen. Jesse Bjorkman, a Nikiski Republican, speaks in favor of overriding a veto of Senate Bill 140 during floor debate of a joint session of the Alaska State Legislature on Monday, March 18, 2024. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Sen. Jesse Bjorkman: Session ends with budget, dividend and bills passed

Capitol Corner: Legislators report back from Juneau

The Alaska State Capitol. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire file photo)
Listen to PAs; support Senate Bill 115: Modernizing PA Practice in Alaska

Health care is rapidly evolving, demanding a more flexible and responsive system

Mount Redoubt can be seen across Cook Inlet from North Kenai Beach on Thursday, July 2, 2022. (Erin Thompson/Peninsula Clarion file photo)
Opinion: Hilcorp Alaska: Powering Southcentral Alaska — past, present and future

Hilcorp Alaska has and will continue to fully develop our Cook Inlet basin leasehold

Sen. Jesse Bjorkman, a Nikiski Republican, speaks in favor of overriding a veto of Senate Bill 140 during floor debate of a joint session of the Alaska State Legislature on Monday, March 18, 2024 (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Sen. Jesse Bjorkman: Collegiality matters

Capitol Corner: Legislators report back from Juneau

Juneau Empire file photo
Larry Persily.
Opinion: Alaska might as well embrace the past

The governor, legislators, municipal officials and business leaders are worried that the Railbelt will run short of natural gas before the end of the decade