The Republican National Committee wrapped up its biggest event last week, having convened in Cleveland, Ohio, July 18-21, 2016. As I had imaged as well as predicted in my previous post, the Republican National Convention was “unlike any other that I have ever seen…unpredictable and full of unanticipated surprises.” Interestingly, there exists no one word to fully describe the event, for it was commendable, humorous and terrifying—all in one! After reflecting on the event over the weekend, I have finally concluded my overall assessment. Below are my “Top 10 Takeways from the Republican National Convention: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.”
Top 10 Takeaways from the Republican National Convention 2016
1Although there were multiple protests occurring everyday outside of the convention hall, the protest occurred without incident. I credit this success to both sides—the protestors and the Cleveland Police Department. As shown at this convention, Americans can publicly engage in civil protests and the police can enforce and uphold the law without the eruption of violence. We must all recognize and embrace the fact that the expression and protection of First Amendment rights are essential to the political foundation of America and distinguish us as a nation.
2Despite the fact that many Republicans oppose same sex marriage and LGBTQ rights (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (and/or questioning), Peter Thiel received a warm reception at the convention. In fact, technology mogul and billionaire, Peter Thiel made history by becoming the first Republican featured speaker to publicly announce that he is gay to the GOP convention. Notably, the co-founder of PayPal was well-received, encountering no boos or hecklers from the Republican audience. Historically hostile to LGBTQ rights, this is a huge and impressive step for the Republican Party, and they should be recognized and commended for their progressive effort and actions.
3As one of the featured keynote speakers Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) did not publicly endorse Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump and instead encouraged Republicans to vote their conscious. I realize and agree that this point is debatable. On the one hand, some would content that this takeaway would not be considered “good” primarily for two reasons: 1) during the primaries Cruz pledged that he would endorse the Republican nominee, and 2) as a keynote speaker at the convention Cruz should have endorsed his party’s nominee. Considering the circumstances, however, I disagree. How can anyone support a candidate for anything, after the candidate has publicly insulted his/her father and spouse? Although he has been labeled as an obstructionist in the Congress by both his Republican and Democratic colleagues, and although he publicly pledged to support the Republican nominee, on this occasion Cruz decided to uphold his own principles. It takes courage and conviction to make such a bold move.
4The first day of the convention was plagued with controversy as Jarrett Hill discovered that Donald Trump’s wife Melania Trump plagiarized her speech, using excerpts from First Lady Michelle Obama’s 2008 Democratic speech. The Obama and Democratic origins of the speech as well as the attempt by Trump and his team to deny the acts of plagiarism magnified the controversy, making the issue even more incendiary! Ends up, Melania Trump admires First Lady Michelle Obama, just like most Americans. You must admit, when it comes to choosing her sheroes, Melania Trump has good taste!
5Clearly noticeable and irrefutably undeniable, the Republican Party lacks diversity. Looking over the audience, one could see few delegates of color. In fact, it appeared as if the GOP has become the WPP (White People’s Party). How can that be possible and acceptable to one of the two major political parties in America? In fact, the Washington Post reported that the number of African American delegates that participated in the Republican National Convention this year is likely to have been the lowest in a century! Interestingly, it has declined significantly over the past sixteen years. This year only 18 of 2472 delegates were African American! Did the Republican Party learn anything from their 2014 autopsy??? As the report revealed, considering the changing demographics of America, diversifying its membership is critical to the survival of the Republican Party.
6Ivanka Trump sought to personally profit from her participation in the convention. The day following the speech, when she introduced her father as a the Republican nominee, Ivanka Trump posted a tweet with a link to her personal clothing line. At the website individuals could purchase the dress that she wore for the occasion. In fact, Ivanka had been tweeting advertisements for the products she was wearing throughout the convention! Are Americans being hustled by the Trumps for monetary gain? If so, does America want this type of personal aggrandizement as a common practice in our first family? (See “Ivanka Trump Treats the GOP Like the QVC by Using the RNC to Sell Her Clothing Line”)
7During the convention the Republican Party failed to articulate a clear vision and plan of action for America. How, specifically, are the Republicans, led by Donald Trump, going to “Make America Great Again”? Throughout the convention we heard all about what was wrong with America but heard little about how the Party and its leadership plan to address and/or solve the country’s challenges. Do the Republicans even have a plan?
8The intense anger and fierce hate publicly displayed by the mostly white delegates frighteningly appeared like a lynch mob. Chanting “Lock her (Hillary Clinton) up!” with an enraged zeal and tone, the Republican delegates showed an ugly and repulsive side of our nation that should never be resurrected, reborn or ever again permitted, let alone on public display for our entire nation and world to see. That type of mob mentality and expression is utterly unacceptable, disgraceful and dangerous and, ultimately, has no place in America or our politics. That historical era is behind us and over! Thank God!!!
9During his acceptance speech as the Republican Presidential nominee, Donald Trump delivered a deplorable and horrifying picture of America, as a country full of doom and gloom. According to Trump, crime, panic and despair exist everywhere, in every neighborhood, and in every nook and cranny of America, tormenting and terrorizing each and every citizen of our nation. What America is Trump living in? Yes, our nation has its challenges, but it looks nothing like what Trump described. This is ironic, especially since Trump lives a privileged life and in a privileged neighborhood. On top of the devastating portrayal of America, Trump offered no clear vision or plan of how he as President would address or solve America’s challenges. Obviously, Trump has not given much thought or attention to developing a plan of action, even though he proclaimed that he has “a very good brain.” In the longest Presidential nominee acceptance speech in forty years, what solutions did Trump offer for America with all of its extensive problems? He only presented one: “Nobody knows the system better than me, which is why I alone can fix it.”
10Unfortunately and most disturbingly, the GOP has become not only the WPP but also the POT (Party of Trump). The Republican Party no longer exist. Unfortunately, it has been taken hostage by Trump. As predicted in my post on Trumpenstein, by creating and strengthening their monster, the Republicans have finally begun to reap what they have sewn.
Although many of us have been entertained by and found humor in this year’s Republican National Convention, in actuality, the convention and the election itself is no laughing matter. This entire political experience is real. This is not a reality television show.
After watching the convention proceedings, I am absolutely baffled! To tell you the truth, I have not concluded whether the Republican National Convention was a horror show or a circus. (Come to think of it, it was probably a little of both!)
There is one fact, however, that I do know for certain: Americans must take this election seriously to make sure that we do not give the self-absorbed, perpetually-needing-and-seeking-attention, seemingly-mentally-challenged, thin-skinned, no-nothing, hate-and-fear-mongering, no-attention-span, shyster-having-ways, always-hustling-to-make-dollar, dangerously-dividing-our-country, backyard bully Donald Trump the reins of power to ruin the United States of America and our world!