The Five Best Moments of the Republican Convention: Thursday Edition

Republican Presidential Candidate Donald Trump, speaks during the final day of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Thursday, July 21, 2016. Carolyn Kaster/AP Photo

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It’s over. Finally. Here are today’s five best moments:

  • Trump says blandly that he might not come to the aid of our NATO partners in the Baltics if Russia invades them. Mitch McConnell chalks this up to a “rookie mistake.” Newt Gringrich won’t even go that far: “Estonia is in the suburbs of St. Petersburg,” he says. “I’m not sure I would risk nuclear war.” How confidence inspiring.
  • Trump’s speech leaks hours early, upstaging the evening speakers. It is a stunningly dystopian description of a country in terminal decline, possibly the gloomiest speech ever given by a presidential contender.
  • Jerry Falwell Jr. passes along a strained joke his father told him. Dad was musing about being interviewed by Chelsea Clinton, who asked him what the biggest threats to the country are. He answered “Osama, Obama, and yo mama.” This went over well on the convention floor.
  • Trump pal Tom Barrack highlights one of the worst deals Trump ever made: overpaying for the Plaza Hotel and then being forced to sell it at a loss a few years later. This is supposedly an example of what a great dealmaker Trump is.
  • Trump tells America: “I am your voice.” And: “Nobody knows the system better than me, which is why I alone can fix it.” If this reminds you of the kind of thing a cult leader might say, you’re not alone. And the whole speech was spat out with a delivery that was scarily reminiscent of Mussolini or Fidel Castro.

By the end of Trump’s speech, his campaign slogan for the next three months was clear: “Make America Fear Again.” Buckle up.

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This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

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