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 speaks during an April 27 news conference at the Alaska State Capitol in which options for a long-range fiscal plan were discussed. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire File)
Opinion: Alaska’s rudderless fiscal ship

The Alaska Permanent Fund dividend Alaskans are set to receive is again… Continue reading

Heidi Drygas, executive director of the 8,000-member Alaska State Employees Association, addresses a rally outside the Alaska State Capitol on Feb. 10, 2023. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire File)
Let’s stop the ‘Neglect. Panic. Repeat.’ cycle of public service delivery

The payroll section is one of several state agencies in crisis

This photo shows Alaska Department of Public Safety Commissioner Jim Cockrell. (Courtesy photo / Office of Gov. Mike Dunleavy)
Strengthening Alaska through service: Join the Alaska State Troopers

The law enforcement positions within the Department of Public Safety fill a critical need within our community

A tabletop voting booth is seen next to a ballot box at the Kenai city clerk’s office on Monday, Sept. 20, 2021, in Kenai, Alaska. (Peninsula Clarion file)
Opinion: Last call to voice your vote!

We will see you at the polls Oct. 3

LaDawn Druce asks Sen. Jesse Bjorkman a question during a town hall event on Saturday, Feb. 25, 2023, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Opinion: Addressing Kenai Peninsula’s education and public safety employee shortage

Many of our best and brightest educators take a hard and close look at the teacher’s retirement system in Alaska early in their careers and are stunned

Deven Mitchell, executive director of the Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation (Courtesy photo)
Opinion: Providing for generations of Alaskans

As a public endowment, the wealth of the Fund is the responsibility of every resident of the state

U.S. Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Mitt Romney greet each other outside the chamber at the U.S. Capitol on April 5, 2022. (J. Scott Applewhite / AP file photo)
Opinion: Alaska’s senators and Mitt Romney

When newly elected Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, began his term five years… Continue reading

UAA Provost Denise Runge photographed outside the Administration and Humanities Building.
Opinion: UAA offers affordable and convenient pathways that prepare students for the next step

At UAA, we provide numerous academic programs designed to meet specific workforce needs

A line of voters runs out the door of the Diamond Ridge Voting Precinct at the Homer Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center on Election Day, Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2022, in Homer, Alaska. Chamber Executive Director Brad Anderson said he had never seen the amount of people coming through the polling place. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
How many ways can you vote?

Multiple ballot options available to voters

scales of justice (File photo)
Opinion: The Dubious Dunleavy Deal to use public dollars for personal legal costs

In 2019, these regulation changes were ultimately abandoned without public notice

A 2022 voter information pamphlet rests on a desk in the Peninsula Clarion offices on Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2023, in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Where to find voter pamphlets

Be educated about what you are voting on