Trump threw a fat pitch
by Dave Winer Friday, July 22, 2016

I didn't think last night after watching the Trump acceptance speech that there would be a post-convention bump for Trump in the polls. 

I thought it was a miserable speech. I kept thinking how people who know him say he has no attention span or curiosity. And there was a point in the speech where you could feel that he lost it. He had gone in pumped up. His coaches told him to take a long big breath between each sentence or phrase. You could hear him do it. 

It sounded like panic.

It felt to me as if a Little League player showed up at a World Series game. They gave him the ball and said "You pitch." 

There was no passion, no enthusiasm or presence or even a sense that he understood the words he was saying. He was reading off a teleprompter. Yes, he was better than he usually is, obviously he spent a lot of time practicing this speech. He was disciplined, for Trump, didn't veer off very often, when he did, I hoped, out loud "This is it" -- now he's going to show us True Unhinged Crooked Donald, but he got himself back on course. He either wants the job now, or he doesn't want to go crazy in front of all these people.

Ivanka's speech was masterful. She'll be back, win or lose in the fall. The Jon Voight commercial was beautifully produced, but was such an incomplete profile of a person. It felt like the newsreels in Zelig or Citizen Kane. Look here's Trump building the NY skyline (what bullshit) -- here's Trump with cute animals and with NYPD on 9/11. 

There's that moment at conventions where old friends stand up for the candidate and tell you about his or her heart. Mitt Romney, who felt stiff and awkward had lots of people to speak for him. As did Obama, and the Bushes. Presidents are gregarious people who touch a lot of people's lives. Not DJ Trump. It was remarkable how few people would speak for him, and when they did it was pretty arm's length stuff. You have to wonder, does he have any friends who will speak for him?

I want Trump to fail and fail big. Get this fascist thing out of the American system. We didn't see that last night. But he threw a really fat slow pitch down the middle. The Democrats know what they're doing and they're motivated. They know how to do conventions. I've been to two of the last three DNC's. I drove from Denver back to Berkeley after the 2008 convention. I stopped by the side of the road to hear John McCain introduce Sarah Palin and thought she must be a pretty amazing person. She gave a good speech. But after that, on the long drive across Utah and Nevada, I listened to the speeches from the DNC. They were gorgeous and poetic and make my eyes well up just to think about how beautiful they were. They have great writers, and they can deliver a great story. And they're going to pull out all the stops, because they totally get how impossibly bad it would be to elect the government that would come with Trump.

The Repubs have great writers too. Good at whipping up the emotion. I don't think Trump is Batman, as has been said elsewhere, I think he's The Joker. We need James Taylor, Carole King and Chuck D, Stevie Wonder, Beyonce, Jon Stewart and Uncle Sam. We need hope, love, humor, humanity, to come out, and provide the contrast. We're Americans and we're full of honor, hope, empathy, ambition.

It's a serious election but we're up to winning, so let's get out there and win. 

There's a big fat pitch coming over the plate... 

PS: I gave another $100 to Hillary last night after Ivanka's speech. I find it helps me feel better. You should try it too, if you're so inclined..