Donald Trump's candidacy is based on a great lie.
It is based on the idea that the more you repeat a lie, the more you let it take hold of what's real, betting that a majority of voters will end up believing it.
That's the conclusion to which we arrive at the end of the Republican Convention which took place this week in Ohio. Especially after having heard the long—and sick—nomination acceptance speech of the party’s presidential candidate.
Trump wants to convince Americans that their country is at the edge of an abyss. Plunged into chaos. Threatened from all sides.
If things are going so badly, he says, it's because of the terrorist threat. But it's especially, in listening to him, because of immigrants. And black people, to a certain extent, because all week, his party has stressed the recent murders of police officers on American soil.
The next logical step in this pernicious strategy is for Trump to make Americans believe that he is their savior. The "law and order" candidate. The one, for example, who will build a wall on the border with Mexico.
To bring some together, the Republican candidate turns his back on others.
His intellectual dishonesty doesn't stop there. Trump accuses Barack Obama – the first black president, whom he has been slandering for years by insinuating that he wasn't born in the United States – of having "divided" Americans.
He has pushed the fraud as far as promising to unite the country, although, in fact, he has been trying since he entered politics to accentuate the divisions and racial split. He has made a calculation: for him, it's politically profitable.
Trump belts out "Make America Great Again." It should be noted with dismay that behind this slogan hides another, imprinted with nostalgia and bad faith: "Make America White Again."
"I think that he needs to do more to unify this party and then to go forward and appeal to all Americans,” said Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan from the wings of the convention. Ryan has, however, supported the candidate for a long time.
There is a lesson there for politicians all over the world.
If we don't firmly and quickly confront this clever mix of demagoguery and this process of rejecting the other, we support it.
We let the virus spread.
As neighbors, we can only condemn this speech and denounce its author in the hope that the American people will do the same during the presidential election.
The Republican Pulse
Dozens of speeches were made during the Republican Convention in Cleveland. Their content gives one a good idea of what the leading lights of Trump's party are proposing. It allows us to take the pulse of the political party. Here are three of the most striking addresses of the week, interpreted by our editorialist.
Ted Cruz, Senator from Texas
It was one of the speeches that was most written about this week. Ted Cruz decided to settle his score with Trump by refusing to give him his support. Beyond that controversy, the senator delivered a watershed speech about the idea of freedom, and the fact that President Barack Obama and the Democrats in general threaten American freedoms. "Many do not respect the life of the infant in the womb,"* he said, for example. He didn't specify that he dreams of taking away from American women their freedom to choose whether they have an abortion or not.
Chris Christie, Governor of New Jersey
Christie dedicated almost all of his speech to putting Hillary Clinton on trial, live, to the great delight of convention attendees. They yelled in unison several times, "Lock her up!" Why? Christie had a long list of grievances, all linked to the four years the American politician spent as secretary of state. He condemned her policies with Russia, Iran, China, Syria, etc. He didn't, however, say a word about Trump’s foreign policy, even though the candidate's declarations on this subject raise more concerns than do the poised actions of Clinton formerly mentioned.
Newt Gingrich, Former Speaker of the House
People often accuse Trump of running a fear campaign. On that note, he is outdone by Newt Gingrich, who has implied that the worst is yet to come if Clinton becomes president. "The danger is even worse than September 11," he predicted, saying that an entire city could be razed by terrorists with weapons of mass destruction. "Instead of losing 3,000 people in one morning, we could lose more than 300,000," he said. In the same vein, he reproached Clinton for wanting to welcome more Syrian refugees. Fear is a bad adviser, however. That's what the Democrats will have to eloquently remind them about during their convention next week.
*Editor’s note: While accurately translated, this quote could not be independently verified. It may be a remark more accurately attributed to convention speaker Laura Ingraham.