Ah! The just concluded Republican Party's national convention in Cleveland. 'Twas a cast of characters like no other convention! I wonder if the Democrats can top that. Me? I doubt it. There is only ONE Donald J. Trump and he a Democrat-turned-Republican who some Republicans just love to hate and others believe he's the Real Deal, a ruler sent to right the wrong times for the USA (please chant "USA! USA!" if you feel the urge). But I gotta say that the "big night" when the GOP's vast army of the unwashed got to crown King Donald the First and Fearless was a big let down. Was not a speech but a long rambling diatribe filled with threats, bullying, cartoon facial expressions and ended up just a distasteful, mediocre performance by a US presidential candidate.
Yep, it was great reality TV with clowns and all dutifully praising the Paramount Leader for a chance to wash his soiled boxer shorts. And the media. That groveling, cowardly, supine and malleable collection of sycophants that the American Fuhrer slapped, bitched about, and criticized at every turn, still managed to call Trump's bloviating, spit-laden shouting "a hard-hitting, rousing speech!" CNN led the "praise Trump Brigade, All Hail The Leader" with one reporter sumizing Trump's bizarre performance by rendering it down to the choice of two campaign slogans and his minimalistic play on one.
As if his play on Hillary Clinton's campaign slogan "We're With Her" was somehow the antithesis and opposing bedrock of his campaign, the CNN host noted that it was a "significant and a telling moment" when Trump said, as if this was somehow immutable wisdom, that "I'm With You." Such campaign triviality is not policy since the same could be said about his "Make America Great Again" -- whatever that means. Look for the Hillary Clinton Campaign to float a new General Election slogan: "Make America Stupid Again."
Admittedly, only CNN's Van Jones and Anna Navarro had the guts to call the speech what it was -- a divisive, dark rant that fired up the large army of the Republican faithful drunk on a diet of political red meat. I have new respect for Jones and a visibly angry Navarro. Her heart was in the right place and showed as she excoriated Trump for unfairly and cowardly attacking Latinos and Blacks while shamelessly dividing up America for political expediency.
And for all Trump's bombast there was desperation in the convention air. How else can one explain his inviting Ted Cruz, a sworn enemy, to speak at a prime time on the day before his coronation? Trump knew that his attacks against Cruz's father and wife left the Texas senator really sore and that he'd made one more political enemy. His "Lying Ted Cruz" attacks also made the senator angrier at this infantile schoolyard bullying. But as all egotists and megalomaniacs, Trump reasoned that "he was the man of the moment" and that there was nothing that Cruz could do about it. He would not dare make himself an ass while at his show, right?
In my view the highlight of the Republican Party's convention was the spectacle of Ted Cruz pissing and farting, with his pants down, on Trump's big bash. In his address, Cruz did the "rally the party thing" firing off old GOP standards about God, destiny, freedom and all that good stuff lulling convention attendees, and Trump himself, into a false sense of security. Many thought that an endorsement was coming and waited with bated breath for it. To borrow a Trump buzz phrase: "not going to happen."
Filled with optimism at Trump's olive branch approach to a former political foe that he vanquished, convention attendees hope for the best as Cruz demonstrated Sun Tzu's timeless wisdom that all "war is deception." The platitudes were short lived as Cruz congratulated Trump on winning the party's nomination and pointedly refused to endorse him. Instead the told Republicans to "vote your conscience" -- Hillary perhaps?
And it only got worse from there on as Cruz, initially allotted 12 minutes to speak, hogged the stage for all of 21 minutes, delivering what amounted to a prime time keynote speech laced with gleeful oblique attacks against Trump. "If you love our country and love your children as much as I know that you do, stand, and speak, and vote your conscience," Cruz said. "Vote for candidates up and down the ticket who you trust to defend our freedom and to be faithful to the Constitution."
That flummoxed convention attendees already jacked up on "Trump Juice" and in no mood to tolerate any open or veiled criticism of their Guy on The Pedestal. That definitely got Trump's goat. So as delegates chanted and shouted "Vote for Trump!" and "Say it!" Senator Cruz tried to dismiss the outburst as the "enthusiasm of the New York delegation" -- only to have Trump suddenly appear in the back of the convention hall as if to reassure his supporters that he was still in charge of things. Virtually every head in the room seemed to turn from Mr. Cruz to Trump, who was stone-faced and clearly angry as he egged on anti-Cruz delegates by pumping his fist.
Sad thing it was supposed to be climate-denier-cum-Trump-VP, Mike Pence's big night. Cruz spoiled his show and poor Mike could only muster some great catch phrases. But NOBODY noticed or paid attention as "Lucifer Cruz" came and egged on Republicans to have a great big brouhaha on the convention floor as the world watched on in shock and awe as a major American political party engaged in a self-induced feces-binge. The stench was definitely blowing in the Cleveland wind.
Trump vs. Cruz Round II -- winner Cruz.
For what its worth the Republican Convention was great theater, a winning Reality TV Show starring, of course, the larger-then-life Mistah Donald J. Trump who "gets things done." While he minimized "building the wall" speaker after speaker in lock step, well perhaps only Cruz who had an axe to grind, kept to the script -- "O Trump How Great Thou Art." With almost boring regurgitation the convention and Americans were told that Donald Trump is a virtuous man who will fight for America and that "America will win again." What? We're in some kinda game? We're going to win by closing our borders, deporting undocumented immigrants, banning Muslims from coming to America, tearing up contracts and international agreements that he does not like, defeating ISIS "fast, very fast," and withdraw from globalization?
That's a recipe that appeals to the rankest form of American nativism and xenophobia. It's not a growth policy or a plan to "Make America Great Again." It's not a plan or system to make "America Safe Again." And it's certainly not a set of core principles to make "America's Economy Great Again." What we heard was a set of sound bites bereft of common sense reasoning and sorely lacking in substance. Maybe Trump is incapable of not simply playing to "his adoring audience" or does not know the difference between "policy and pomposity."
Maybe we're expecting too much of Donald Trump. After all with an IQ of 120 (www.choiceorlife.com ) he's even dumber than the worst ranked American president, George W. Bush, whose IQ is 127. Naturally, Trump is not even close to one America's top 15 presidents, Barack Obama, with an IQ of 145. Maybe this explains why Trump believes that "I alone can fix this" as if America was an aging Oldsmobile that he was tinkering with while swigging some cheap Cold 45 malt liquor and belching uncontrollably after every swallow.
Perhaps this is the reason, for all his self-touted business acumen and success, that he has trouble doing the math on his big night. According to CNN's (www.CNN.com) Will Cadigan: Reality Check: Vote totals in Democratic primary seasons: