At the Republican National Convention the madness came thick and fast.
An immigrant plagiarized the speech of a black person, and then was cheered by white people who hate immigrants and blacks. Critics pointed out that Slovenian Melania Trump had copied Michelle Obama’s comments about honor and integrity almost verbatim. Parallel texts of the two speeches made the plagiarism perfectly obvious. The chances it was not plagiarism are infinitesimal.
Regardless, Republicans resorted to their standard responses of attacks and lies. Mrs. Trump denied any plagiarism, but after two days of intense ridicule it was admitted, forcing Republicans to eat their words. The speechwriter was unceremoniously thrown under the bus.
Grownups were conspicuous by their absence. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie led an infantile “court” to “prosecute” Hillary. The crowd screamed “Guilty!” and “Lock her up!” like third-graders.
Senior Republicans might have moderated the madness, but former Presidents Bush Senior and Junior, Jeb Bush, former House Speaker John Boehner, Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, and Mitt Romney were conspicuous by their absence. Ohio Gov. John Kasich was absent even though the convention was in Cleveland. Trump is toxic.
So is Ted Cruz. He was supposed to endorse Trump. He did no such thing. Cruz hopes Hillary will win so as to boost his chances in the 2020 election. Trump saw his speech in advance and let Cruz hang himself. He was booed off stage.
Indiana Gov. Mike Pence was introduced as Trump’s running mate. He is a foaming nutjob. As president, he wants to bring back abortions with coat-hangers in back alleys. Wait, wait: “as president”? Trump would be the president!
Don’t be too sure. He wants to be King Donald, swanning around royally, with some muggins doing the actual work.
Both The Week (print only) and The Hill (online) reported Stephanie Cegielski’s comments about Trump. He ran for president only as a self-promoting stunt: “Trump never intended to be the candidate. But his pride is too out of control to stop him now.” She was the communications director of Make America Great Again Super PAC and Trump worked with her (illegally, under campaign law). But she resigned in disgust, saying he was ludicrously unsuited for the presidency.
The New York Times reported recently that Donald Trump Junior had approached Kasich to see if he would be Daddy’s acting president. Kasich declined and shut up, but it leaked out and CNN’s Dana Bash mentioned it in her TV coverage. This is another reason why Kasich was not at the convention — reporters were everywhere. But Pence is unpopular and gladly took Kasich’s place as Trump’s muggins.
Purely as a silly question, why do the “liberal media” tell us more about Hillary’s emails than these bombshell revelations? Republicans have assured me that Trump, as an outsider knowing nothing, would “shake things up” in DC. Don’t be too sure about that, either.
Trump ranted on for one hour and 16 minutes, stooping to a new low in hatred, deceit, prejudice and ignorance. He portrayed America as a hellscape of murder, violence and starvation. Only he could save it. Trump did not say how he would work his magic. Der Führer gave no clue that he knows how America’s complicated system of government actually works. Perhaps the skills he acquired in fake reality shows, and in courtrooms dodging his contractual obligations, would come in useful.
The lies came thick and fast. Hillary would abolish the Second Amendment. For the 984th time, it takes a constitutional amendment to do this. For the 985th time, President Obama is not responsible for America’s national debt. Republican administrations ran up over 80 percent of it (as we saw in earlier columns). For the 986th time, America is not a highly taxed nation. It is the second-lowest in the industrial world.
And so on. But facts do not matter to Republicans, only feelings, and Trump understands this perfectly. There are websites galore detailing his rapid-fire farrago of falsehoods, but Trump knows that few voters go to them.
Reception of the speech was overwhelmingly negative. Words like “apocalyptic” and “dystopian” were commonly used. Britain’s Financial Times stated that the speech was “darker than a coal mine.” The Washington Post called him “uniquely unqualified.” President Obama diplomatically said that Trump was off his rocker.
Trump’s purpose was to whip up fear to get angry old white men in the Rust Belt to vote for him. Bear in mind, these are the people hardest-hit by 35 years of Republican-driven economic policies, including so-called “free trade.” Corporate-oriented “free trade” has made many Republicans into billionaires, at the Rust Belt’s expense. Clueless Democrats are unable to get this message across.
FDR said that we had nothing to fear but fear itself. Trump puts the fear on steroids. Let’s hope this madness will be over in November.