THESE ARE anxious times in America. Despite a steadily, if slowly, growing economy and the absence of a major war, people remain troubled by a sense of national underperformance and myriad social ills, most recently the surge in racially tinged fatal shootings committed by law enforcement officers and against them. A new Gallup poll reports that only 17 percent of Americans feel satisfied with the way things are going, the lowest percentage since October 2013 — and down 12 points in just the past month.
For many, of course, a cause of concern is Donald Trump, who accepted the Republican presidential nomination Thursday evening. Belligerent and erratic, Mr. Trump nevertheless has a serious chance to win in November. In his acceptance speech, he sought to enhance his political prospects the only way he knows how: by inflaming public angst, so as to exploit it.