Trump’s Candidacy Reveals the Sham of American Exceptionalism

Donald Trump bends othe epublican PArty over and makkes it cry "Uncle" in Cleveland.

Donald Trump bends the Republican Party over and makes it cry “Uncle” in Cleveland.

Something smells foul in Cleveland, and for once, it isn’t Lake Erie fish die-offs, the polluted Cuyahoga River, or the Indians’ post-All-Star Break performance. Nope, the stench wafting above the city’s majestic brown and gray skyline came from the Quicken Loans Arena, where the Republican Party officially coronated its own version of a mid-20th century authoritarian Strongman on July 21, 2016.

Historically, America’s conservative party has been no stranger to political scare-tactics, but in hisΒ speech to officially accept the Republican presidential nomination, Donald J. Trump — he of the bombastic ego and even more bombastic roadkill coiffurelaid out an apocalyptic vision of America that was beholden less to Ronald Reagan that it was to Immortan Joe.

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Why America Always Has Been (and Always Will be) Divided

Protestors face off against Baton Rouge's heavily militarized poice force folowing the shooting of Alton Sterling.

Protesters face off against Baton Rouge’s heavily militarized police force following the shooting of Alton Sterling.

On the evening of July 27, 2004, during a steaming hot summer in the city of Boston, Massachusetts, the junior senator from Illinois took the stage at the Democratic Party’s national convention and delivered one of the most important speeches in modern political history. Though the convention’s focus was to anoint the hapless John Kerry as the party’s standard-bearer for what became a futile effort to boot President George W. Bush from the White House, the convention’s keynote speaker focused less on an uncertain present and more on a hopeful future.

That keynote speaker — future President Barack Obama — delivered an address squarely aimed at undermining the toxic national divisiveness that defined America during the Bush years. In perhaps the defining moment of his political career, Obama insisted that, “there is not a liberal America and a conservative America β€” there is the United States of America. There is not a black America and a white America and Latino America and Asian America β€” there’s the United States of America.”Β Twelve years later, in the twilight of President Obama’s second term in the White House, some think that America is more divided than ever.

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