by Tom Nichols
November 16, 2022
WN: “Lance the boil!” Amen!
e is running! In the least surprising news of the year, a low-energy Donald Trump announced that he is running for president again last night. The speech itself was also predictable, hitting the traditional authoritarian and nativist favorites. We heard about the “invasion” at the border and “radical Democrats” in the White House, all spiced up with the usual combination of self-complimenting anecdotes and self-serving lies that we have come to expect from the former president.
What was much more interesting was the almost complete absence of prominent Republicans in Mar-a-Lago and even the lukewarm interest of the US media. At various channels, journalists were “analyzing” Trump’s run while the former president was giving his speech on mute in the background. Even Fox News’s Sean Hannity cut into the speech after a little over half an hour.
How the mighty have fallen. Just a few months ago, it was received wisdom that the Republican nomination was his for the taking. After Tuesday’s uninspiring announcement, none of his competitors will feel intimidated.
Lance the Boil
Trump is back. Twice impeached, facing a slew of legal and financial issues, the disgraced former president made good on his threat to run in 2024 in a weird and draggy hour-long mess of a speech to the faithful last night at Mar-a-Lago. The announcement was everything you’d expect from a Trump performance: the accordion hands, the singsong voice, the tussle with the teleprompter as if the machine were a hostile headmaster testing him on Latin declensions.
Whoever wrote the speech loaded up the usual gobbledygook about “globalist sellouts” and China and rebuilding the military, but to no avail. Trump, as usual, seemed uninterested in the prepared text, and he shifted to all the greatest hits, including his many grievances, the meandering stories, and the bragging that defies fact-checking. Among the many weird gems of improvisation, Trump said that, during the four years of his presidency, there were “decades without a war.” (Pretty sure that one’s inaccurate, but forget it, he was rolling.)
As a former speechwriter, I can’t really blame Trump for being bored by the text. Whatever Trump’s idiosyncrasies and failings as a public speaker, his speechwriters—I assume Stephen Miller, in most cases—are terrible, writing for themselves with attempts at high drama and Gothic menace, rather than for the simpler cadences of a Queens casino boss with a limited vocabulary.
But I have to admit that I welcome Trump’s candidacy.
It’s time for us to once and for all declare who we are as a people. There is still an illness lurking in our political immune system. We discovered (or rediscovered) in our elections last week that American democracy has great regenerative power. But the elections of 2022 only suppressed a fever. The people of the United States, until now, have been reluctant to lance the boil, cleanse the wound, and just get it over with.
America needs a reckoning.
Please click on: Trump Is Back In: Lance The Boil