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5 Lessons from the Republican Convention

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The 2016 Republican convention concluded with Donald Trump's 75-minute rant that only he could protect America from the barbarians at the gates. Other than further proof of Trump's demagoguery, we learned five things at the convention.

1. Hillary Clinton united Republicans. Republicans came to Cleveland promising to unite around Trump. That didn't happen. Cruz, Kasich, and the Bush family didn't endorse Trump and he denounced them all.

Instead, Republicans united by bashing Hillary Clinton. Tuesday night's theme was supposedly "Make America Work Again," but the featured speakers didn't discuss jobs and the economy; instead they blasted Hillary. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell mentioned Hillary 24 times and Donald Trump only 5. The delegates chanted, "lock her up" -- some delegates suggested that Hillary be executed for treason.

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The Trump convention's overall theme became "Make America Hate Again."

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Many Republicans aren't for Trump; they're against Hillary. Will that get them to vote on November 8th? Probably not if Hillary seems to have a big lead.

2. Given his CEO credentials, Trump did a lousy job organizing the convention. Each day saw some epic screw up with the convention program. Monday featured Melania Trump's speech with lines plagiarized from Michelle Obama. Tuesday was supposedly about "Make America Work Again" but instead turned into a Hillary hate-fest. Wednesday saw Ted Cruz's epic non-endorsement of Trump. And Thursday featured Trump's epic rant -- the longest and darkest acceptance speech in modern times.

Since he won the GOP nomination in May, Trump hasn't run a smart campaign. The Republican convention was more evidence of this.

3. Trump can't be trusted off the teleprompter. One of Trump's objectives for the week was to not act crazy, but he couldn't restrain himself. Monday, he called in to Fox News Host Bill O'Reilly in the middle of the convention tribute to "heroes of Benghazi." Wednesday he walked into the convention and interrupted Ted Cruz's speech. Thursday he gave a rambling foreign policy interview to the New York Times. And Friday, he gave a rambling press conference where he denounced Ted Cruz and suggested that Cruz's father was a pal of Lee Harvey Oswald.

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The GOP convention may give Trump a modest ratings bounce but it won't last because he can't stop acting crazy.

4. Trump doesn't want the job. During the convention, the New York Times reported that Trump's son, Donald Junior, had approached Ohio Governor John Katich about being Trump's running mate. Trump Junior reported that, if he accepted, Kasich would be "the most powerful vice president in history;" Trump Junior explained that Kasich would be in charge of domestic and foreign policy. When queried what job "President" Trump would do, Trump Junior explained, "Making America great again."

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Bob Burnett is a Berkeley writer. In a previous life he was one of the executive founders of Cisco Systems.

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