|Trump at the Values Voters Summit|
(AP photo by Jose Magana)
A friend encouraged Leonard to watch the speech Trump gave at the Values Voters Summit if he wanted to understand why rural conservatives love Trump. Leonard did, and lays out in the column the dog-whistle phrases in the speech that attract conservatives, along with the unspoken negative messages about Democrats the phrases may have evoked. "Trump called the Las Vegas shooting a 'horrific mass murder' and an 'act of pure evil.' Democrats blame the guns and want to take yours away," he writes. "Trump honored the heroes of Las Vegas, including the police officers and other first responders. Democrats elevate thugs and view our protectors in blue with disdain."
"So, big media, keep up the great writing, thoughtful analysis, logic and reasoning. And fact checking. But, remember here in Trumplandia, you won’t change any minds. The cultural fissure is too deep, and relates to fundamentally different worldviews with respect to freedom and the nature of man," he writes. "Keep preaching to the choir, coastal media elites. Continue to predict the downfall of Trump in 2020 if not before, and great victories for Democrats in congressional races in 2018, and we’ll see if it works. That’s my hope. I fear, however, such stories will only lead to complacency among the Democratic electorate."