Wednesday, July 20, 2016

GOP Convention, Day 2 - Another Night of That Ought to Strike Fear

Watching the GOP convention, part of me keeps asking "how do people become this insane and blind to reality."  Then I remember that much of the GOP base consists of evangelical Christians which by definition means that one is not living in objective reality.  Add to that the Paul Ryan's of the GOP who would seemingly sell their mothers or daughters into prostitution in order to cling to power. Facts, the truth, and decency towards others simply no longer matter in today's Republican Party.  I find it mind numbing how decent people (including a number of our social friends) - apparently who refuse to pay attention to what is happening - continue to cling to the GOP when the party they remember no longer exists.  A column in the Washington Post looks at day to of the hate fest in Cleveland.  Here are highlights:
The second night of the GOP convention was like “1984,” periodically interrupted by infomercials for Trump wines. The evening started with an uncomfortable explanation of why the rules obliged Alaska to vote for Donald Trump and went downhill from there.
Supposedly the theme of the second night in Cleveland was “Make America Work Again.” Those were the words displayed behind the stage. That was what was announced. But judging by the speeches, the actual theme was “Make America Salem Again.” Or, “Don’t Worry! Hillary Clinton literally worships Lucifer, but on the bright side, Donald Trump’s winery makes excellent wine and his children love him!”

The night’s prime-time speakers included Paul Ryan, Chris Christie, Tiffany Trump, Donald Trump Jr. and Ben Carson.

Ryan’s speech was upbeat and cheerful. This seemed odd, given that he had just handed the nomination to someone whose words he had called “the textbook definition of racism,” but it quickly became apparent that this Paul Ryan was just visiting from another, happier timeline and had no idea what was happening around him. He spoke of the Republican Party as a lively, exciting, aspirational party of ideas . . .

Then Chris Christie took the stage. Christie had honed his speaking style in Salem, 1692, and he opened by announcing that he had seen Goody Clinton with the Devil. . . . “Let’s do something fun tonight,” Christie suggested: specifically, hold a mock trial of Clinton. The crowd loved this idea and began chanting “Guilty!” when prompted. 
Yes, this is the party of hope and fresh ideas, the one shouting, “GUILTY!” and “LOCK HER UP!” as it holds a mock trial of its opponent in absentia.
Fortunately, the next speaker was Tiffany Trump, who reassured us that her father had written encouraging messages on her report cards when she was young, so, I guess, that was good. I am just saying, for future reference, if you don’t want to give off a Possible Dictator vibe, having your children speak up on your behalf and say that you have always been very nice to them IS NOT ACTUALLY REASSURING. Dictators tend to be nice to dogs and children. 

Then Donald Trump Jr., took the stage. . . . He spoke inspiringly of a Horatio Alger-style rags-to-riches, up-by-the-bootstraps tale. Unfortunately, he was supposed to be speaking about his father, Donald Trump. If there is the opposite of a Horatio Alger novel, it is Trump’s biography. This did not keep his son from complaining about the people with Harvard and Wharton degrees who had stood in the way of his father (who only has a Wharton degree). He lamented the “new aristocrats and self-satisfied people at the top,” apparently without irony, perhaps mistaking himself for someone who was not literally Donald Trump Jr.

Not to be outdone by Christie’s fantasy mob trial of Clinton, Ben Carson announced that he had seen Goody Clinton with the devil . . . .

And that was the second night. I did not think I would conclude my recap of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland by quoting Ramsay Bolton, but then again I did not think that the evening would include references to Lucifer, a mock trial of Hillary Clinton, conducted by Chris Christie, with loud cries of “GUILTY!” and, of course, praise of Trump wines.

But “if you think this has a happy ending,” as Ramsay Bolton said, “you haven’t been paying attention.”
Be very, very afraid.

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