At the Republican National Convention last week Donald Trump positioned himself as the law and order candidate in a speech the mainstream media and the Democratic Party panned as a "dark" assessment of America. But they are underestimating the fear of American voters who do not feel optimistic about the future of the country. With a string of Islamic State attacks, racial unrest and the killing of police officers, it is no wonder voters are turning to Donald Trump as Democrats consistently downplay the risk to the United States.
By identifying himself as the law and order candidate, Donald Trump is not only speaking to Americans' concerns about terrorism and domestic unrest, but his message stands in stark contrast to Hillary Clinton's lawlessness. Poll after polls indicates the concerns over her email scandal. A recent AP/Gfk poll shows an astounding 92 percent of Americans believe she either broke the law or exercised bad judgment in setting up a secret server. Only 6 percent of Americans believe she did nothing wrong. An ABC/Washington Post poll found that a majority of Americans, 56 percent, disapprove of the FBI's decision to not recommend charging Clinton for her mishandling of classified information. That includes nearly 60 percent of independents and one-third of Democrats.
Not only does Clinton's indifference to the law hurt her with voters, but with 70 percent of Americans believing the country is on the wrong track, she is missing the undercurrent of fear and anger among voters. A string of recent Islamic State inspired attacks, from the slitting of a priest's throat in Normandy, France, and a suicide bombing in Ansbach, Germany, to an airport bombing in Istanbul, Turkey, and the murder of 84 in Nice, France, Americans are reasonably on edge. That concern is so strong that FiveThirtyEight has increased Donald Trump's chances of winning the White House to 56.7 percent.
Clinton and the Democratic Party are tone deaf to these concerns. Rather than responding with strength, Secretary of State John Kerry warns that refrigerators are as dangerous as the Islamic State. That weakness doesn't just extend to Secretary Kerry; President Obama has belittled the concerns of Americans with condescending comments that bathtub accidents kill more Americans every year than terrorists.
The administration has also repeatedly admitted it has no plan to defeat the Islamic State. Hillary Clinton is an extension of President Obama's failed foreign policy and weak rhetoric. She has long dismissed the role that Islamic extremism plays with the Islamic State and spearheaded the deal with Iran, which gives the world's largest state sponsor of terrorism $100 billion to perpetuate their role as the leading supporter of the death and destruction of innocent people across the globe.
The desire for law and order does not just apply to foreign policy. Americans have witnessed lawlessness here at home and Hillary Clinton has put it on full display at the Democratic National Convention this week. Her invited speakers include Lezley McSpadden, the mother of Michael Brown, who was killed after robbing a store and attempting to grab a police officer's gun, the first illegal immigrant to deliver a major speech at a nominating convention, and Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, who stated after the death of Freddie Gray that she wanted to give rioters a safe space to "destroy."
Four months in a campaign is a lifetime and given this turbulent presidential cycle anything could happen between now and November. But Hillary Clinton, the Democratic Party, and the mainstream media are grossly missing one of the biggest motivating factors this election cycle: fear. They are also missing the fact that Donald Trump is the only candidate who is directly speaking to those concerns.
Lisa Boothe is a contributing columnist for The Washington Examiner and president of High Noon Strategies.