Last night, Hillary Clinton accepted the Democratic nomination for President of the United States. Most pundits did not expect a great speech, as that is not her strength. Mrs. Clinton outperformed those expectations. Though lacking the rhetorical skills of her husband or President Obama, it was a good speech, not exceptional, but effective. But what, exactly, did she say? I heard seven themes.
1. She fixated on Donald Trump.
Mrs. Clinton said “Trump” 21 times – more than she referred to the national debt, terrorism, and the economy combined. But it’s good politics. She is playing to her base, which is smart. She repeatedly twisted his words, but all politicians do that.
2. Hillary promoted unity.
This was the strength of her speech, early on. She criticized “the wall,” while promising economic growth for the underclass and acceptance of all people of faith. She promised to be the President of “all Americans,” including “Democrats, Republicans, and Independents.”
3. Hope is on the way.
Clinton’s speech was one of hope and optimism. She promised a better future for the next generation. “When there are no ceilings, the sky’s the limit.” She promised equality for all and promoted optimism. Building on the “progress” of the Obama years, she forecast more jobs for everyone.
4. Everyone gets a free pony.
Free college. Free trade school. Student loans forgiven. Missing, of course, was a plan on how to pay for this. And missing is the devastation this would put on private schools.
5. Clinton wants to increase taxes on job creators.
America has the highest corporate tax rates in the world. Mrs. Clinton called for higher taxes on the top earners, who already pay half the taxes in America. Economics 101 says that if you take more taxes from the rich, they will increase their prices for their products. They always have and always will. When President Reagan cut taxes for the rich, revenue went up. The same thing happened under President Kennedy.
6. She ignored important issues.
Missing was a detailed plan to defeat ISIS. Missing was a plan to create jobs. Missing was any mention of the national debt which has doubled in the past eight years. Missing was any mention of inner city violence. Missing was any plan to secure the border. Missing was any recognition of the 123 police officers shot down on the job last year. Missing was any detail on how to improve on the slowest economic recovery in American history. Missing was a single idea that would differ from the Obama years. Missing was a plan to pay for free college tuition.
7. Gun control will save lives.
If we pass more gun laws, the bad guys will surely obey them and we will all be safer. Gun restriction will bring safety. (Tell that to Chicago.)