Vowing to "restore law and order" and make America safe from domestic crime and terrorism from outside its borders, Donald Trump on Thursday night accepted the Republican nomination for president.
"America is a nation of believers, dreamers, and strivers that is being led by a group of censors, critics, and cynics," Trump said in an hour and 15 minute address in which he laied out the case for himself and against Democrat Hillary Clinton, who is set to receive her party's nomination next week.
"We cannot afford to be so politically correct anymore," he said. "So if you want to hear the corporate spin, the carefully crafted lies and the media myths, the Democrats are holding their convention next week. Go there.
"History is watching us now," he said. "We don't have much time. But history is watching. It's waiting to see if we will rise to the occasion and if we will show the whole world that America is still free, independent and strong."
Trump thanked evangelicals for their support in winning the nomination, saying, "The support they've given me, and I'm not sure I totally deserve it, has been so amazing and was such a big reason for me being here tonight."
He touched on the rising crime rate in big cities and the threat of terrorism from Islamic terrorists.
"We will be a country of generosity and warmth. But we will also be a country of law and order," he declared.
"America is far less safe — and the world is far less stable — than when Obama made the decision to put Hillary Clinton in charge of America’s foreign policy," Trump said of the former secretary of state.
"I am certain it is a decision he truly regrets," Trump said of Obama's appointment of Clinton. "Her bad instincts and her bad judgment — something pointed out by Bernie Sanders — are what caused the disasters unfolding today.
"In 2009, pre-Hillary, ISIS was not even on the map. Libya was cooperating. Egypt was peaceful. Iraq was seeing a really big, big reduction in violence. Iran was being choked by sanctions. Syria was under control," he said. "After four years of Hillary Clinton, what do we have? ISIS has spread across the region, and the entire world. Libya is in ruins, and our ambassador and his staff were left helpless to die at the hands of savage killers. Egypt was turned over to the radical Muslim Brotherhood, forcing the military to retake control. Iraq is in chaos. Iran is on the path to nuclear weapons. Syria is engulfed in a civil war, and a refugee crisis that now threatens the West."
The legacy of Hillary Clinton he said, is "death, destruction, terrorism and weakness."
Trump said he plan puts Americanism, not globalism, first.
And he vowed to bring in supporters of democratic socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders, who was defeated by Clinton in the Democratic primaries over what both Sanders — and Trump — have called a "rigged system."
"Millions of Democrats will join our movement because we are going to fix the system so it works for all Americans," Trump said.
"I am the law and order candidate," he said. "The irresponsible rhetoric of our president, who has used the pulpit of the presidency to divide us by race and color, has made America a more dangerous environment for everyone."
The system, he said, has failed minorities in inner cities with declining employment opportunities and rising crime.
"When I am president, I will work to ensure that all of our kids are treated equally, and protected equally," he said.
Saying he has visited laid-off factory workers, and communities crushed by "our horrible and unfair trade deals," Trump said he will fight for the "forgotten men and women of our country.
"People who work hard but no longer have a voice," he said. "I am your voice!"
He also vowed to create the best intelligence gathering operation in the world.
"We must abandon the failed policy of nation building and regime change that Hillary Clinton pushed in Iraq, Libya, Egypt and Syria," he said.
"Instead, we must work with all of our allies who share our goal of destroying ISIS and stamping out Islamic terror."
He vowed to work closely with Israel in the fight on terrorism in the Middle East.
"We are going to defeat the barbarians of ISIS, and we're going to defeat them fast," he said.
When Trump vowed to protect those who have experienced violence at the hands of ISIS' ideology like the LGBTQ community targeted by a terrorist in Orlando this summer, the crowd erupted in approval.
"I have to say as a Republican, it is so nice to hear you cheering for what I just said," he said.
He repeated his vows to build a border wall and suspend immigration from countries that have been compromised by terrorism.
"Anyone who endorses violence, hatred or oppression is not welcome in our country and never will be," he said.
Immigration, Trump added, has caused lower wages and higher unemployment for citizens, especially African Americans and Latinos.
"We are going to build a great border wall to stop illegal immigration, to stop the gangs and the violence, and to stop the drugs from pouring into our communities," he said, echoing a campaign theme that has been loved by his supporters and scorned as racist or impractical by his detractors.
But the crowd of delegates loved the speech, chanting, "Build the wall! Build the wall!" at one point.
"On January 21st of 2017, the day after I take the oath of office, Americans will finally wake up in a country where the laws of the United States are enforced," he said.
Trump also vowed to clean up corruption in the Veterans Affairs Department. He said he wanted to change a law to allow religious groups to express political opinions without losing their tax-exempt status. He also promised school choice, help with student loans, rebuilding the military and the repeal and replacement of Obamacare.
"And we will fix TSA at the airports, which is a total disaster," he said.
"We're going to ask every department head in government to provide a list of wasteful spending on projects that we can eliminate in my first 100 days," Trump said to shouts of, "Yes, you will!"
"We can accomplish these great things, and so much else — all we need to do is start believing in ourselves and in our country again. It is time to show the whole world that America is back — bigger, and better and stronger than ever before," he said.
Trump's speech was not without interruption. When a protestor attempted to hold up a sign halfway through, she was shouted down by the crowd with "USA! USA!" and "We want Trump!" before being escorted out by security.
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