President Donald Trump capped the Republican National Convention on Thursday with an ominous speech warning of an end to American exceptionalism in an effort to unite the fervent base that helped propel him to victory four years ago.
“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, calling his competitor, former Vice President Joe Biden, a “Trojan horse” for socialism.
“Joe Biden is not a saviour 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,” he said.
Trump cast his first term as a success for those hoping to see a political outsider in the White House and said he has spent four years fighting Washington’s elite.
“From the moment I left my former life behind, and a good life it was, I have done nothing but fight for you,” he said. “I did what our political establishment never expected and could never forgive — breaking the cardinal rule of Washington politics — I kept my promise.”
The president spoke for more than an hour to a crowd of more than a thousand people at the White House, raising concerns not only about the ethics of using such a storied government building for a political campaign but also the threat of spreading the coronavirus.
Few attendees were seen wearing face masks in the tightly packed crowd.
Trump, like others in his administration this week, made it seem like the United States had already moved past the pandemic, despite the fact that more than 40,000 people are testing positive for COVID-19 each day and hundreds are dying.
“In recent months, our nation, and the entire planet, has been struck by a new and powerful invisible enemy,” the president said. “Like those brave Americans before us, we are meeting this challenge. We are delivering lifesaving therapies, and will produce a vaccine before...