ANALYSIS: Trump Convention Leads With Fear – and Family

The opening night of the convention featured Trump's wife, Melania.

It was against that backdrop that Donald J. Trump made his early entrance at his own convention. Hours after the gathering threatened to unravel, and more than a full hour before the night would limp toward an end, Trump introduced his wife so she could help offer him up as the answer for a nation on edge.

The theme of the night -– “Make America Safe Again” –- is predicated, of course, on the presumption that the nation isn’t safe now. Outside events matter, after a string of incidents and attacks that have undermined the sense of security both at home and abroad.

Conventions in the past have been about re-branding, a change of emphasis, or moves to the center. They tend to be upbeat, energetic affairs.

This, though, is the first Trump convention –- and seldom has any convention been as built around a single candidate as this one is.

To that end, Trump and his surrogates are making clear that their path to unity is lit by fear.

“This is the last stand on Earth,” said retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn.

Trumps entrance was its own production –- a lectern rising, lights depicting him in hazy silhouette, and Queen lyrics blaring, “No time for losers.”

“We’re gonna win. We’re gonna win so big,” Trump said on stage.