U.S. President Donald Trump pumps his fist at the crowd as he stands after delivering his acceptance speech as the 2020 Republican presidential nominee during the final event of the Republican National Convention on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, U.S., August 27, 2020. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

THE NEUTRAL ZONE

Surrounded by unmasked supporters packed side-by-side on the White House front lawn, President Donald Trump accepted the nomination Thursday evening with a message: Joe Biden, not the coronavirus, was the biggest threat to America. “This election will decide whether we save the American Dream,” Trump said, “or whether we allow a socialist agenda to DEMOLISH our cherished destiny.”

Just a couple ticks into his 78-minute speech, Trump referred to Biden’s remarks last week that he would lead America through Trump’s “season of darkness.” “Because we understand that America is not a land cloaked in darkness,” Trump said. “America is the torch that enlightens the entire world.”

Trump said that Biden’s presidency would lead to cities being overrun by riots, looters and criminals, and only he would stand in the way of chaos. “Your vote will decide whether we protect law-abiding Americans, or whether we give free rein to violent anarchists, agitators, and criminals who threaten our citizens,” Trump said. 

Trump also attacked Biden on jobs, stating that Democrats shipped jobs overseas while he fought to keep them here. “For 47 years, Joe Biden took the donations of blue-collar workers, gave them hugs and even kisses, and told them he felt their pain – and then he flew back to Washington and voted to ship their jobs to China and many other distant lands,” Trump said. “Joe Biden is not the savior of America’s soul – he is the destroyer of America’s Jobs, and if given the chance, he will be the destroyer of American greatness.”

Takes on Trump seemed to follow the networks’ aesthetic, as Fox News’ Liz Peek said Trump and Republicans “absolutely buried Democrats” in getting their message out, while MSNBC’s Joy Reid called the President’s speech “repugnant.” “All I have to say is as I’m watching this, I’m thinking Fidel Castro, Julius Caesar,” she said. “That was not an American president giving an acceptance speech. That was a monarch.” But Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace, who praised speeches by Biden and Pence, said Trump’s speech was “suprisingly flat.” “It didn’t seem to have the usual bite that it usually does,” Wallace said. 

Other news from the final night of the RNC:

• Some questioned the ethics of using federal property to campaign, pointing out that Trump’s speech was unprecedented and, as former Democratic candidate Pete Buttigieg said in a tweet, possibly illegal. 

• Sen. Rand Paul said he was attacked by a “crazed” mob of protestors after leaving the White House front lawn and thanked Washington D.C.’s police force for “literally saving our lives.” 

• News broke Friday that four people who attended the RNC tested positive for COVID-19.

MEDIA PERSPECTIVE

Trump Is a Secessionist From the Top – The Atlantic – 8/28/2020
“What’s the name of that building?” he extemporized, and the crowd cheered, laughed, and whistled. He then extemporized some more. “But I’ll say it differently. The fact is, we’re here—and they’re not.” Louder cheers, standing ovation.

What if Facebook Is the Real ‘Silent Majority’?New York Times – 8/28/2020
Listen, liberals. If you don’t think Donald Trump can get re-elected in November, you need to spend more time on Facebook.

Trump Lit Up The Skies (And The Right) While The Streets Raged – The Federalist – 8/28/2020
Just one week after a physically isolated, professionally awkward, and visually timid Democratic National Convention finale featured Joe and Jill Biden walking down an empty hallway to a cute fireworks display while socially distanced cars honked their horns in a Delaware parking lot, the Washington sky was alight and a live concert played while hundreds of attendees applauded on the White House’s South Lawn.

What We Still Don’t Know About Trump – Politico – 8/28/2020
Five years after Donald Trump leapt on the stage of presidential politics and instantly came to dominate it—and after two national conventions almost totally consumed by discussion of his character and motives—there still isn’t a stable consensus on just who Trump is, and what gives him power.

INFLUENCER PERSPECTIVE

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