Last Night Was the Turning Point in Trump's Campaign

Donald Trump cleared up one thing in his speech in Charlotte, North Carolina, last night: he is running to win.

Throughout this very odd election cycle, some pundits have periodically suggested that Trump wasn't serious in his run for the presidency. First, it was said that he got into the race simply to garner publicity, to burnish his "brand." He himself, it was said, was surprised that he did so well in the primaries.

When it became clear that he was poised to win the nomination, the story changed slightly. Now, he was said to be playing the buffoon because he didn't really want the job. The same line was repeated and amplified post-convention whenever Trump went off-message or waved The National Enquirer about. Anything having to do with Ted Cruz really seemed to set him off. And off he went, as his plummeting poll numbers showed.

But these last couple of weeks have shown the world a new, more disciplined Donald Trump.

His speeches on the economy, on foreign policy, on policing and race relations, and -- just last night -- his brilliant speech that touched on everything from national security to race relations, free trade, immigration, and Obamacare, have shown that he is deadly earnest about winning this election.

To employ a phrase that Trump himself favors: Believe me, he's in it to win.

Last night's speech was significant for  several reasons. Substantively, it hammered home a truth that is as uncomfortable as it necessary to acknowledge: the dreadful plight of black Americans is largely the creation of Democrats.

Aside: in a rare obeisance to political correctness, Trump consistently referred to "African-Americans."  Perhaps that is politically expedient -- but I believe it is patronizing.

As Teddy Roosevelt observed, "hyphenated-Americans" are a threat to the integrity of the country. We are not Irish-Americans or German-American or African-Americans (a term that is especially bizarre because it is applied indiscriminately to certain dark-skinned people: Jamaica, for example, is not part of Africa). We are simply Americans whose ancestors happen to be from Ireland, Germany, Kenya, or wherever.