"This is the legacy of Hillary Clinton: death, destruction, terrorism and weakness,” Donald Trump said last night in his convention speech.

Pity he could not get some facts right.

Did you know Hillary Clinton caused the Arab Spring uprisings and overthrew the government in Egypt?

(She apparently led the Egyptian uprising which resulted in a democratically elected government later removed by an army coup.)

Did you know she helped found ISIS, which actually came into existence after breaking with Al Qaeda and revealed their vision for a caliphate in 2014?

(Clinton left the State Department in 2013.)

Did you know the Iran deal should never have gone ahead because US sailors were captured by Iranians?

(The sailors were actually captured AFTER the Iran deal was signed.)

Did you know Trump came out in favor of helping LGBTQ people be accepted, but the party platform talked about psychological help to have gays become “normal” people?

Did you know the FBI were complicit in a crime because they did not find that the Hillary Clinton’s email shenanigans ranked as criminal?

That will be news to the FBI director James Comey, who clearly did his level best to deliver a fair verdict.

Minor points Trump advocates will say, but if you can’t get the facts and the history right in the most important speech of your political career when will you?

Trump’s convention speech was a dark account of a dystopian vision of America where fear and loathing stalks the streets, deaths are rising dramatically and the populace is perpetually cowering in fear. ISIS lurks behind every dark corner, cops are shot at will and law and order is breaking down.

There is no question the Trumpian vision strikes a chord with an electorate pummeled by ISIS, cops and civilian killings and huge questions about civil society such as racism, which many thought were on their way to being settled.

To deal with this difficult time Trump casts himself as the strongman, a Benito Mussolini or Francisco Franco, who could rule with an iron fist, would make the trains run on time, fix the infrastructure, protect the people from terrorists and deliver a new vision. The man on the white horse, riding Clint Eastwood-like to the rescue is a vision Americans often fall for.

His strategy is about stoking fears. It only works if you're an utter pessimist about America. The problem for Trump is that most Americans are optimists, not cowed by difficulties but rather strong enough to overcome them, which is what they have done from the time of the Revolutionary War onwards.

Trump rubbished the very thing that makes America great. One can only imagine what the sunny optimist Ronald Reagan would have made of such a dark speech.

The net effect will be to make millions of Americans fearful of immigrants despite the fact that only a sliver will ever carry out crimes.

Former George H.W. Bush speechwriter calls Trump's RNC speech "very dark and frightening" https://t.co/UGBNMSXWWb pic.twitter.com/31VClXP8HG

— HuffPost Politics (@HuffPostPol) July 22, 2016

Trump may have condemned the entire Republican Party to oblivion last night. Clearly he never remembered what happened to the GOP in California where they have virtually disappeared because of their attacks on immigrants in a state rapidly trending Hispanic.

It began when a former governor, Pete Wilson, decided illegal immigrants were at the core of every problem and he sought to block them from schools, medical facilities and any government assistance. The results were disastrous. Ronald Reagan used to get more than 40 percent of the Hispanic vote. After Governor Wilson's Prop 187 in 1994 the GOP would never win statewide office again with the exception of celebrity Arnold Schwarzenegger, who became governor.

Trump spent much of the speech almost shouting, decrying immigration and talking tough on borders and enforcement.

There has not been such a diatribe against immigrants since Bill the Butcher, head of the Bowery Boys and the Know Nothings lashed into Irish immigrants in the 1840s. (Bill was killed in 1855 by henchmen hired by Irish immigrant John Morrisey, Bill’s bitter enemy).

Trump spent enormous energy blackening illegal immigrants to the point where he is trying to petrify Americans into now thinking that all immigrants carry a crime risk.

In that respect he resembles Richard Nixon, the law and order president who became so paranoid about his power that he acted illegally and was impeached.

Ultimately Americans will make the decisions. There will be two clear visions: optimism from Hillary Clinton and pessimism from Donald Trump. Depending how events turn out between now and November this is a race impossible to call.

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