Since announcing his candidacy last summer, Donald Trump has been covered by the press probably more than anybody on the face of the earth. In many ways, it’s media attention that has fueled and elevated his candidacy.
On Thursday night, though, it’s probable that the GOP nominee will face his largest audience yet when he delivers his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention. He is likely to use that big stage to redefine himself to America as a different, more level-headed candidate – one who doesn’t throw Twitter tantrums or refuse to denounce the KKK.
But an address written by his handlers and read from a teleprompter doesn’t erase all he has said, and American voters shouldn’t forget who he really is as he formally accepts the GOP nomination in Cleveland.
He’s the man who, on the day he launched his presidential candidacy, went out of his way to insult Mexican immigrants, calling them “criminals” and “rapists”:
Trump hasn’t stopped insulting them since, promising to build a wasteful wall and enlist a deportation force to throw over 11 million people out of the country. It’s no surprise his numbers among Hispanic voters are deep under water.
He’s a man who insulted the military service of Republican Sen. John McCain– and, in the process, millions of other Americans – by saying he is only considered a war hero “because he was captured”:
Trump, on the other hand, wasn’t captured because he worked tirelessly to avoid serving the country he now hopes to lead.
This is also a guy who said the reason Megyn Kelley asked him difficult questions at a Republican debate was because of her menstrual cycle:
Trump gets so frustrated by difficult questions and critical media coverage that he plans to go after journalists if he’s ever elected president:
He believes that women – who have a right to safe and legal abortions – should be considered criminals if they terminate a pregnancy:
If you want a president that will implement government policy to boost wages, Trump probably isn’t your candidate. In fact, he thinks your wages are too high:
For some inexplicable reason, he seems to idolize brutal dictators, from Saddam Hussein to Vladimir Putin to Kim Jong-un:
Muslims, on the other hand, are a group of people Trump doesn’t much care for. In fact, he feels so strongly about it that he’s proposing to keep them out of the country altogether:
Don’t think American Muslims are off the hook, though. Under a Trump administration, Muslim places of worships would be under intense surveillance (at best) and shut down altogether (at worst). Why? Because there’s just something not
Throughout the campaign, Trump has consistently tried to stir up trouble and incite violence at his own rallies:
He also has weird fantasies about dating his daughter:
Of course, not everything Donald Trump said in the past is totally insane:
This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Donald J. Trump. In this campaign alone, he has said more crazy and dangerous things than any of us have the ability to document.
Just yesterday, he said one of the most reckless things yet, telling The New York Times he may abandon our NATO allies if they come under an attack
Still, he will take the stage on Thursday and claim to be “your voice.” He may even sound level-headed and rational to voters who haven’t been paying much attention until now.
But we’ve known Donald Trump for a long time. We know what he stands for. A speech in Cleveland won’t change that.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.