Despite his best efforts, Trump did manage to sound vaguely “presidential,” which is to say, he spoke in bland language for more than an hour about the greatness of America and Americans doing American things in America. The only thing that kept most of us awake was his wholly singular approach to metaphor, logic, syntax, diction, pronunciation, and rhythm: “pillars” that don’t “catch and release,” “thousands of MS-13 horrible people,” a policy that “protects the nuclear family by ending chain migration,” “opioid e-diction,” “a magical moment when the countries of the world will get together to eliminate their nuclear weapons,” “to detain terrorists wherever we chase — them down,” “communist and socialistic dictatorships,” “and a great student he was” (you feel like you have to put an exclamation point after that).
Whenever Trump strayed from using language inappropriately, he was dull. “Americans are dreamers too,” he said at one point in defense of his schizophrenic policy toward the so-called “DREAMers,” adults brought to this country as children who were not subject to deportation during the Obama administration. He talked a lot of guff about bipartisanship and the need for unity in the face of division, the sort of stuff every president always says at these things. He also made the same ridiculous assessments of the value and popularity of his own policies. Does he really expect us to believe that the average welder will save enough on taxes to “invest” in anything, much less a college education for his children, a year of which probably costs more than his annual earnings?