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Salon: Trump’s Masterful Performance Could Make Him President

Andrew O’Hehir writes in Salon that GOP nominee Donald Trump “could easily end up president” after his “diabolical, masterful performance” at the Republican National Convention on Thursday night.

It’s not OK that the Republican Party nominated Donald Trump as its presidential candidate. That clearly suggests that reality has stripped a gear and we have careened off into a deeply stupid alternate dimension that resembles a 1980s straight-to-cable sequel to “They Live.” It was definitely not OK to be inside Quicken Loans Arena as Trump accepted that nomination, giving a speech that was sometimes profoundly awkward and went on much too long but was also — it’s always better to face the truth — a masterful display of demagoguery and manipulation.

From the ashen, haunted faces around me in the press gallery, and the conversations over hastily guzzled drinks before and after, I feel sure I wasn’t the only person here who felt as if he were suffering from PTSD, sunstroke and a stomach virus, all at the same time. Still, it was an educational bout with the existential flu. Anybody who still thought Donald Trump was a joke and a dumbass who would humiliate himself and his party go down to Mondale-scale defeat now knows better. You can pick Trump’s speech apart and examine its flaws, of course, but from the point of view of performance and dynamics only one verdict is possible. He killed it. He. Killed. It.

Michael Moore said the other night on Bill Maher’s show that he now thought Trump would win the election, and that feeling has been sneaking up on me for months now. There are valid statistical and demographic arguments that suggest otherwise. My colleague Amanda Marcotte has been asking all week: What states, or what groups, does Trump win that Mitt Romney didn’t? That’s a conversation for another time. But if Hillary Clinton does indeed defeat this guy, it’s gonna be a nail-biter.

Read the rest here.

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