To quote Vince Lombardi: “What the hell is going on out there?” My parents took elections pretty seriously. Every four years, they watched the conventions. I remember my first convention on television in 1960.
I have paid attention to politics ever since. I have found it to be interesting, and believe it or not, educational as well. Although I consider myself a progressive, I am registered as unaffiliated. That is something I have been since the first time I registered to vote in 1971. At that time, the partisan divide in this country was not so huge. Plus, until Richard Nixon went after the so-called “Dixiecrats” in 1968, the GOP was really the party of civil rights. It was mostly Republicans that got the Civil Rights Bill and the Voting Rights Bill passed. It was also Eisenhower who sent in troops to protect black high school students in Arkansas after segregated schools were deemed unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.
But, I haven’t seen such weirdness at a convention as this one. I thought that things could never get to this stage. That we were getting over our race and gender issues. The weirdest one I witnessed was the Democrat Convention in Chicago in 1968. I am not even talking about the demonstrations and riots outside the convention. I am talking about the chaos inside. I didn’t think we would see that again.
But, I was wrong. This year’s Republican Convention tops the 1968 Democrat Convention of 1968. This is so weird, I don’t know where to begin. In day one there was a mild protest over the nomination rules. In day two there was a mild protest from Alaska about how the votes were counted by the chair.
The speeches were pretty much what I have expected. There has been nothing to spell out the policies the Republicans are going to run on, unless you count hating Hillary Clinton as a policy. This has been a “hate Hillary” love fest.
Last night was no different. There were the usual speeches claiming inheritance of the Party of Lincoln even though it is now the party that wants to go back to Jim Crow days. There were more “hate Hillary Clinton” speeches. But there was nothing about policies.
But, once again there was chaos. More than one person did not endorse Trump during their speeches. Everyone claims to be “shocked, shocked I tell you” that Ted Cruz did not endorse Trump. And, that is what everyone wants to talk about. I wasn’t shocked. These two men absolutely hate each other. But more on that later.
Marco Rubio sent in a video that was more of a “vote for me for Senator” than anything else. You know the same Senator who misses about 60 percent of votes wants Florida to reelect him after he said he was not running anymore. He mentioned Trumps name twice and NEVER endorsed him.
The one that is kind of a shocker is a speech given by retired astronaut Eileen Collins. She gave a speech mostly prepared by the Trump campaign. According to the transcripts, the prepared speech was supposed to end”
We need leadership that will challenge every American to ask, “What’s next?” We need leadership that will make America’s space program first again. We need leadership that will make America first again. That leader is Donald Trump.
Thank you and God bless the United States of America!
But that is not how the speech ended. Instead, she ended the speech saying:
We need leadership that will ask Americans, Americans will ask again, “What’s next?” We need leadership that will make America’s space program first again. We need leadership that will make America great again.
I want to thank all of you. Thank you for what you’re doing. God bless America.
The line “That leader is Donald Trump” was left out by Collins. I guess that is another OOPS on behalf of the Trump Campaign.
Newt Gingrich did his best to let America know that we have a third-rate military, we have record high unemployment, that we are coming apart at the seams. His view of the country is downright gloomy. It is also false. As a veteran, I take great umbrage at the notion that our military is third-rate. It is the best equipped, best trained, and made up of the best people in the world.
Mike Pence gave his acceptance speech. In his speech he talked about national security as well. He said that America will stand by its allies under all circumstances. He said that our allies will “respect” us again.
Seems someone forgot to tell him that Donald Trump doesn’t seem to have the same feelings about our allies. In an interview with the New York Times Trump before said before coming to the aid of the Balkan States if they were attacked by Russia, he would have to ensure they have fulfilled their obligations to the U.S.
In the interview he also said that he would not pressure Turkey or other authoritarian allies about conducting purges of their political adversaries or cracking down on civil liberties. Mr. Trump claims that we “have a right to lecture”.
Those are two wonderful ideas to “gain back respect of our allies” as the GOP claims we need to do. He wants to put conditions on when we will support our allies and if one of them are to wipe out say 500,000 people in a purge, well who are we to say not to do that. Is that because he wants his own purge if he is elected? Why else wouldn’t you condemn purges somewhere else unless you believe in them yourself.
There is also Al Baldasaro, a New Hampshire state representative and delegate and an advisor for the Republican presidential nominee. In a radio interview he said:
I’m a veteran who went to Desert Shield, Desert Storm. I’m also a father who sent a son to war, to Iraq, as a Marine Corps helicopter avionics technician. Hillary Clinton, to me, is the Jane Fonda of the Vietnam War,” referring to Fonda’s 1972 trip to Hanoi that some Americans consider to be an act of betrayal.
[Clinton] is a disgrace for the lies that she told those mothers about their children that got killed over there in Benghazi. She dropped the ball on over 400 emails requesting back up security. Something’s wrong there.
This whole thing disgusts me. Hillary Clinton should be put in the firing line and shot for treason. (emphasis mine)
This whole violent theme is very disturbing to me. This is the kind of thing you might hear in a Banana Republic. Not in U.S. politics. But, it is all to common in Trump’s camp. Yes, the Secret Service is investigating this Bozo for his comments.
Before Mike Pence even took the stage, Ted Cruz took the stage. He gave his usual “freedoms” speech. The one where everyone has freedoms except those he doesn’t like. You know people like immigrants, LGBT, women, and “liberals”. Everyone was waiting with bated breath, except apparently me, for his “endorsement” of Donald Trump at the end.
OOPS here we go again. Instead of endorsing Trump, he said everyone should “vote your conscience” for the candidate you like best. In political terms that is saying you do not like the nominee and expect him to lose big time. You are also telling your followers not to vote for the nominee.
Most of the delegates went nuts. But then what is a Republican gathering if no one goes nuts. It was reported that one lead delegate, it wasn’t reported which one, had to be restrained he was so angry at Cruz. The New York delegation went totally berserk. It was also reported that Heidi Cruz, Ted’s wife, needed to be “escorted from the floor” for her own safety.
Cruz was actually booed off of the stage as he left. Which made Donald Trump very happy. If I were a very cynical man, I would say the whole thing was staged by Trump and Cruz to rile up the delegates. Let’s face facts, this has been anything but a wild show of love for Trump.
But, I am not going to believe that for a minute. Remember, Cruz and Trump hate each other. Sometimes I think they hate each other more than they hate Hillary Clinton. Which would really be something.
During the campaign, Trump called Cruz every name he could come up with. He attacked Cruz’ wife for her looks. He even accused Cruz’ father of being with Lee Harvey Oswald handing out “communist” pamphlets in New Orleans and claiming he “may have had a hand in killing Kennedy.”
With all of that in mind, how could anyone actually believe that Cruz would endorse Trump to become President. Instead of endorsing Trump, he gave a speech that tells everyone why he should get the nomination in 2020 after Trump is trashed by Clinton.
The odd thing is that the Trump campaign knew what he was going to say before he went on stage. Trump even tweeted that he had the speech 2 hours before it was given. So, the real question is why would they allow Cruz to take the stage right before Mike Pence?
Everyone agrees that Trump blew it when he rolled out Pence and announced he would be his running mate. After introducing Pence at the press conference, Trump walked off the stage and wouldn’t even stand there while Pence was speaking. I don’t know about Pence, but I would consider such actions as dismissive.
Then Trump allows the Cruz fiasco to be the last spot before Pence speaks. After the speech, Trump did not shake Pence’s hand and pose for pictures together, he merely “blew him a kiss” from offstage. I believe that is the first time I saw one candidate “air kiss” his running mate.
The other question is what the hell was Cruz thinking? He knew he wasn’t going to endorse Trump. He knew it would be taken as “burying the hatchet” – right in Trump’s back. Did he think that he was going to be held up as some kind of hero? Even the Texas delegation is angry at him right now. One delegate said they wanted “answers” from Ted when they meet with him this morning.
I have been following politics for 56 years. I have never seen a convention like this one. I have never seen a campaign like this one. The GOP wants us to vote for Donald Trump. They claim he will support our allies. But he says only if the have fulfilled “their obligations to us.”
They tell us he will “bring jobs back to America”. Except of course his own families products. They will still be made in Mexico, China, India, and Bangladesh. They tell Latinos that Trump is good for them even though he calls them rapists and murderers.
They tell the LGBT that the party is “all-inclusive’ but keep passing laws that “exclude” them from society even making them “second-class” citizens. They tell Blacks the same “all-inclusive” line but calls them “terrorists” if they dare take to the streets in protest against things like police brutality.
They talk about “religious freedom” but then say we should ban Muslims from entering the country and “watch” the Mosques here for “radicalization” practices.
They tell women how much they love them. Then pass laws to defund Planned Parenthood which is the number one provider of cancer screening, birth control, and other women’s health issues. They pass laws banning abortion and birth control all in the name of “women’s safety”.
They tell Americans that it is a shame that jobs have been outsourced overseas. Yet, it is their “free trade” policies that make it possible. They claim to be all for education but pass budgets that slash education funds. they claim to “love” our veterans but introduce bills to slash funds to benefit packages like the GI Bill.
While all of this “all-inclusive” speaking was going on, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the Texas Voter ID law. There is a lot of claiming going on at this convention. And, all of the claims are totally opposite of what their actions are. Yes, this has been a weird convention. It has been a weird election cycle.
My dad had a favorite saying when someone blew their horn on the road for no reason. And, as I listen to each of these Republican speakers this week that phrase keeps popping up in my head. That is when today’s Republicans speak, I keep wanting to yell “blow it out your ass!”
But I don’t have to, because that is exactly where they are talking from in the first place.
This convention has been marked with chaos and violence against opponents of Trump. That should tell you all you need to know about the Republicans who want your vote.
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