Tuesday, July 19, 2016

The GOP Convention's Ugly First Night

In some ways watching the GOP National Convention is akin to self-inflicted torture, but it should be required viewing because it puts a spotlight on just how insane and out of the mainstream the GOP has become.  If one isn't a right wing Christian fanatic, white supremacist, conspiracy theory devote, a not tethered to objective reality Hillary hater, or simply insane, there really is not much place for you in today's Republican Party.  All of this was on open display last night and reinforces my view that I did the right thing when I decided to escape the insane asylum the GOP has become years ago. A column in the Washington Post looks at some of the insanity and the freaks who Donald Trump is making mainstream within the GOP.  Here are highlights:
Welcome to the Donald Trump Republican National Convention.
Roger Stone, longtime confidant and informal adviser to Donald Trump, . . .  chose this moment, when the party presents itself to the nation, to team up with Alex Jones — the conspiracy theorist and radio host on whose show Trump has often appeared — as “co-hosts” of the rally for a couple thousand Trump supporters. Like the Trump campaign itself, the convention has elevated those who bring the crazy.
Many Republican officials are avoiding Cleveland this week entirely. Others are tacitly supporting the Trump ticket, swallowing their reservations; a last-ditch rebellion on the floor Monday afternoon by anti-Trump delegates was easily put down.
This vacuum gives voice to Trump’s proudest and loudest supporters, those who, before Trump, resided on the fringes. It has legitimized people like Jones.
Jones is famous for asserting, among other things, that the U.S. government was behind the 9/11 attacks and the Oklahoma City bombing. Trump, who appeared frequently on Jones’s show to promote his theory that President Obama wasn’t born in America, told its host in December that “your reputation is amazing.” . . . He [Jones] said that “Hillary is a foreign agent of the communist Chinese, the Saudi Arabians and others.” Noticing a disruption in the crowd, he denounced these “anti-freedom scum who need to get their ass to North Korea.”
Police on the perimeter and in a boat could witness a few participants openly carrying handguns, the droning of the kudu horns, the guy carrying an eight-foot wooden cross, the woman who botched the words to “The Star-Spangled Banner,” and the primary challenger to John McCain who said, “We don’t need frail, fearful, old people representing us.”
Dozens of attendees wore “Hillary for Prison” T-shirts. One sign that said “Latinos for Trump” featured a bumper sticker declaring “9/11 was an inside job.” The flip side had the message “Hillary for Prison” (the first “i” was dotted with a Jewish star and Muslim crescent) and a bumper sticker declaring fluoride “poison in the tap water.”
Trump has “cojones,” Stone said. And Clinton? “A short-tempered, foul-mouthed, greedy, bipolar, mentally unbalanced criminal.”  “She’s a reptile!” somebody added.  “A liar!”
This is the face of Trump’s GOP. “Republicans who do not choose to join our cause: You will be replaced,” Stone said. “Good riddance. This is not about unity.”

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