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Donald Trump accepts Republican nomination, saying 'I am your voice'

By
Eric DuVall
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump celebrates on stage with family members after delivering his speech at the Republican National Convention at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland. Photo by Molly Riley/UPI
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump celebrates on stage with family members after delivering his speech at the Republican National Convention at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland. Photo by Molly Riley/UPI | License Photo

CLEVELAND, July 21 (UPI) -- Telling millions of disaffected Americans "I am your voice," Donald Trump stepped into the history books Thursday as the 29th nominee of the Republican Party for president of the United States.

Painting a picture of a nation on the tipping point of permanent political corruption, economic stagnation, lawlessness and terrorism, Trump presented himself as an agent of change, a political outsider promising to fundamentally reorder government institutions he said are systemically failing millions of Americans.

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Trump ran down a laundry list of problems facing the nation, laying the blame at the feet of Democratic President Barack Obama for flat-lined wages, the loss of manufacturing jobs, illegal immigration and increased terrorist threats from the Islamic State and other radical groups.

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"My message is things have to change and they have to change right now," Trump declared.

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He was introduced on the final night of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland by his eldest daughter, Ivanka Trump, who lauded her father for demonstrating business acumen she said is proof he can produce results as president.

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"When my father says he will make America great again he will deliver," she said.

Delivering remarks that stretched well past an hour, Trump also savaged his opponent, the presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. After three days of delegates repeatedly chanting "lock her up!" at the mention of her name, Trump picked up on the theme, saying Clinton committed crimes in her handling of government secrets by using a private email server while secretary of state.

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Of the FBI investigation that concluded earlier this month which found Clinton was "extremely careless" but not criminally negligent, Trump said investigators were "saving her [from] facing justice for her terrible, terrible crimes."

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Trump's speech included acknowledgments to all factions of the Republican Party and olive branches to independents and Democrats, pledging to create a society that benefits ordinary citizens, many who have been left behind by a swift-moving global economy.

Trump assailed political correctness, the stifling of a society he said can no longer adequately describe its problems out of polite constraint, let alone begin to tackle them.

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"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," he said.

Photo by Pat Benic/UPI

Trump's acceptance speech was steeped in much of the bald anger that has fueled his campaign to date. The candidate himself shouted frequently and was flush with sweat on his brow by the time he finished.

But with one sentence right at the top, Trump ensured his place in every U.S. history textbook for generations to come.

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"Friends, delegates and fellow Americans, I humbly and gratefully accept your nomination for the presidency of the United States."

For a billionaire real estate developer, businessman and reality television star who has been a tabloid sensation and uniquely American household name for 30 years, that sentence brought an end to a primary campaign that began with what political pundits predicted would be a flash in the pan. Instead, Trump went on to energize millions, redefine conservatism for the 21st century and install himself, a consummate outsider and political novice, as the standard bearer for the Party of Lincoln.

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The primary campaign was a bruising one, with elements of the remaining hurt feelings still on display at the GOP's quadrennial gathering. It gaveled open with a hostile floor fight over convention rules from a vocal minority of delegates steadfastly opposed to his nomination. On Wednesday, Trump's most serious rival during the primary, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, pointedly refused to endorse Trump during a speech to delegates -- and was booed off the stage for his effort.

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If that was the opening act, the main event figures to be even more brutal.

Trump and Clinton enter the general election as the two most disliked major party nominees in modern political history. Some six in 10 Americans say they dislike both candidates. The political attacks on Clinton and Obama were frequent and unsparing from speaker after speaker in Cleveland over the course of four days, often overshadowing the typically gushing portraits of the nominee the convention is meant to lionize.

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Clinton's Democrats will not have to wait long to offer their rebuttal. Their party's convention begins in Philadelphia in just four days.

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