Ezra Klein, preaching to the choir, Donald Trump doesn’t want to make America great. He wants to make it afraid.
And this is what made Trump’s speech so truly ugly. It is one thing to whip up fear of the Other when the Other is a threat. But it is fully another to try to scare the shit out of Americans because you’re afraid they won’t vote for you unless they’re terrified. It is demagogic to warn, on national television, of foreign criminals 'roaming' our streets simply because you’re behind in the polls. It’s telling that Trump fears only the threats that can be blamed on outsiders while ignoring the more lethal, more pervasive killers that afflict the citizenry.
Trump’s speech was a procession of horrors for which he did not even bother to propose real solutions. He has no actual fix to immigration, no theories on how to reduce crime. Here, his statement bordered on self-parody. 'I have a message for all of you: The crime and violence that today afflicts our nation will soon come to an end,' he said. 'Beginning on January 20, 2017, safety will be restored.'
But then, perhaps there’s truth to his absurd promises: When the crisis is invented, the solution is simpler. Once Trump no longer needs the nation to be afraid, he will stop scaring it. It is his nightmare, and only he can wake us from it."