Since Bush stole the election through party shenanigans and a stacked Supreme Court in 2000, I have awaited this election, prophesied its coming, and feel vindicated because this is the one where it could be that the centripetal forces that have been putting strain on the GOP will finally tear it apart. Earlier in the year, as the reality of Trump became more and more actualized, I was gleefully thinking that my political Christmas present was coming and I was so looking forward to this convention.
That was then, this is now. Seeing this freakshow has long since stopped being entertaining even in the “see, you lie down with dogs, you wake up with fleas” sense, because the GOP did this to itself. Now, it’s just uncomfortable, like watching someone who really thinks they can sing butcher the National Anthem and they have only gotten as far as ‘By the dawn’s early light…’ and you know there’s more to come because they can’t stop and everyone in the audience is antsy. It feels like that kind of awkward now.
Beyond the plagiarism, and the repeatedly debunked lies about the current administration and Clinton, and the absence of a lot of the Republican elected rank-and-file, there’s a greater issue. This GOP convention is just… plain… BAD. Remove all partisan elements, replace the personalities with neutral entities, take away everything that could bias one for or against the people putting this thing on, and you would still have a trainwreck. A candidate who isn’t even present to accept the nomination, a continuing stream of people whom no one knows on the stage when normally it would be occupied by the important people of the party such as senators and former presidents, flubs like a Nazi salute from a media speaker and momentum-killing meandering speeches by the candidate’s cronies, and a complete absence of anything even approaching a policy position or an initiative of government to get people motivated and excited. Recall, if you will, the Obama campaign: a model of efficiency, focus, and detail. This is a carney act in comparison.
If this was all, it would be bad enough. But on top of this cow pie of a convention structure is layered the effluvia of rabble-rousing and fear-mongering. Reality has been taken out back and double-tapped in the head, because this is prime time for lies. The economy isn’t growing? Lie. Obama “gave Iran the nuclear bomb”? Lie. Obama failed to live up to his promise of immigration reform? Lie. And the lies aren’t even just about the GOP’s opponents; Trump is the most ethical businessman imaginable whose word is his bond, and “he always pays his bills promptly”? Massive lie.
It seems like we’re officially desperately searching for something positive to say to seem fair when we can look at the speeches and “be impressed”. What I find shocking is the complete chutzpah and lack of logic. Even before we got into the plagiarized parts of Melania’s speech, I was pretty struck that they picked his THIRD wife to espouse that one of Trump’s greatest attributes is that “he never quits” and “once he starts something, he always finishes it”. Except, you know, marriages and payment contracts and anything that might endanger his own money (other people’s money can get flushed for all he cares).
And then Tuesday, we had Donald Jr. talking about how Trump doesn’t need to listen to “Wharton MBAs,” even though Trump himself has a Wharton MBA. And then the whopper of all whoppers – that “my dad promotes on skill, not based on cronies.” This coming from his SON who is the EVP of Trump Companies?! Yes, I’m sure he was only promoted based on his skill and great hair!
I get that this is basically just GOP political theater, but to extend the metaphor, this wouldn’t even be Broadway, or off-Broadway. This would be more like a community theater’s amateur reproduction of Cats… or a marionette show where the performer is high and drunk – and the theater is on fire. There’s shooting one self in the foot, and then there’s shoving the whole leg down a cannon barrel and letting rip. And we’re only three days into it.