The first draft of Henry McMaster’s GOP convention speech

Donald and Henry, in happier times.

Hello, delegates.

It’s wonderful to be here in Cleveland, where the Cavs just won the NBA championship, the Indians are in first place, and the KKK, Westboro Baptist Church and Black Lives Matter are outside flinging urine at each other.

Who do you pull for there?

I asked my wife, Peggy, if she had ever in her wildest dreams seen me standing here, nominating Donald Trump for president. Peggy said, “In most of my dreams, Foghorn, you are beating a dog with a stick and singing ‘doo-dah, doo-dah.’ ”

I say, I say, I don’t know what that means.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is not a dream ... even though many of you consider it a nightmare. You know, that’s not the Norovirus making you vomit. It’s what we are about to do here.

After years of complaining about the Democrats letting celebrities dabble in politics, we actually nominated a “reality” show star to be president — and gave a prime-time convention slot to Chachi.

We have a lot of work to do ... if we are going to keep ourselves from being embarrassed by one of the least-liked candidates the Democrats could have nominated.

They tell me I was the first elected official in the country to endorse Donald Trump, which I did to get a leg up on Alan Wilson in South Carolina’s 2018 gubernatorial race. Just think, if I had waited a few months, the state Supreme Court would have derailed his political career for me.

But then, I wouldn’t get to be here live on C-SPAN.

It was lonely for a while, but now literally a half dozen of other Republicans have endorsed him. So it is with great pride and happiness — of finally getting on national TV — that I second the nomination of Donald Trump (cough) for president of the United States of America.

On Dec. 7, 1941, after the withering attack on Pearl Harbor, Admiral Yamamoto said, “I feel all we have done is awaken a sleeping giant and filled him with terrible resolve.”

My advisers suggested that comparing the nomination of Donald Trump to Pearl Harbor might not be the optics we want to conjure. But I think the situation today is just as dire. And for years, the resolve we showed then made the world a better place (note: Don’t mention it was Democrat presidents who did all that).

But today, the current administration has abandoned what little confidence we had in our Constitution and the world has lost confidence in us ... according to those sex offenders at Fox News.

Ladies and gentlemen, that is about to change.

When we elect Donald Trump, the world really will lose confidence in us.

Finally, after eight years of incompetence, arrogance and disregard for the rule of law, the American people are about to show everyone what real incompetence, arrogance and a complete lack of understanding of the law truly means.

(Pause for applause)

Donald Trump is a man of uncommon strength, drive and accomplishment — just ask him. He may be the only man perfectly equipped (again, just ask him).

You should see him at these rallies. People wait eight, 10 hours just to see him. I haven’t seen that sort of enthusiasm since, well, Obama in 2008.

Those people scream out, “I love you, Donald.” And he says, “I love me, too.”

You must have witnessed his tenderness with Melania. You know he loves her, his 14th wife, because otherwise he would deport her along with all those other foreigners.

He is willing to abandon his successful business, so he tells us, to work for us — and sell us diplomas to Trump University and high-quality beef.

To paraphrase that great poet Buffalo Springfield, “There’s something happening here, what it is is precisely clear.”

Again, my advisers suggested I not refer to a song so closely identified with the Vietnam War, but I thought it was appropriate.

On their advice, I did, however, choose not to recite the last verse of that song.

Paranoia strikes deep

Into your life it will creep.

It starts when you’re always afraid.

You step out of line, the man come and take you away.

Reach Brian Hicks at bhicks@postandcourier.com.