Editor's note: The following column originally appeared in The Resurgent.
I don’t much believe anything President Obama said Wednesday night. I find him to be a particularly divisive president, dividing Americans up into groups and playing them off each other for political gain.
I find him too willing to politicize tragedies to advance an agenda, giving no respite to mourn in a never-ending campaign. But thank God the president had the grace on that stage last night to point out that Donald Trump is neither a Republican nor a conservative. I am glad that even the president is not willing to tar and feather my party with Trump, despite my party’s willingness to commit political suicide.
The president gave a speech that was multiple things. It was an ode to American progressivism and defense of his record. It was the Republican response to Donald Trump. It was a flat sounding campaign for Hillary Clinton. The progressivism was nauseating. I cannot blame the president for ignoring the low economic growth rate during his administration. His values are not my values.
But I appreciate his denunciation of Donald Trump. He was accurate. The Republican Party is supposed to be the party of the individual that believes in the American people. It is now the party of Trump that believes that only by electing Donald Trump can we make America great again. The party of Reagan that put faith in the people now puts faith in an orange braying jackass who is all talk and bankruptcies.
I got a text message from a senior Republican congressman after hearing President Obama’s speech last night. The congressman wrote, “We were supposed to make that sort of speech.” Barack Obama offered optimism and “Morning in America” to Trump’s “Midnight in America” doom, gloom, and despair.
I may disagree with the president and I may not really believe the president, but I don’t matter. The American people watching at home matter.
Last week, Republicans consoled themselves that television viewership of their convention was down, but that’s because people don’t watch TV anymore. They stream online. I suspect we are going to find that the president’s speech last night was widely seen and will be widely viewed as effective.
The GOP had a real opportunity to win in 2016. I’m sure today the Republican voices in the media will tell us that the Americans are not anywhere near Baghdad. But they know it is not so. The GOP had the chance to lift the American spirit against a woman with 60 percent disapproval. Instead, they chose a man even less liked that her.
I hate 2016.
Erick Erickson is a Fox News contributor. He is founder/editor of The Resurgent. His new book is "Before You Wake: Life Lessons From a Father to His Children”. Follow him on Twitter @EWErickson.