My skin isn’t thick enough to endure criticism trailblazers like Harris, Pelosi, Gandhi, Meir, and Thatcher have had to suffer; but I have been inspired to follow in their footsteps, in my own ways. As Harris told Marie Claire magazine, “I want [young] women to know, you are powerful and your voice matters." Amen, Sisters. Amen.
… conveys much about Trump and Republicans.
If the Democratic Convention seemed unconventional – this week’s Republican Convention blew the roof off. Some highlights (or lowlights, depending on your point of view):
- Narcissistic President Trump demanded air-time EVERY night – unlike past nominees, who only appeared making acceptance speeches. Trump couldn’t resist attention, claiming “this is the most important election in American history”.
- Rebellious Trump delivered his acceptance speech Thursday from the White House South Lawn (with a live audience of approximately 1,500, unmasked and undistanced), violating the tradition of NO political speeches from government properties. After his acceptance speech, a massive fireworks show exploded over the Washington Monument, including aerial bombardments spelling out “Trump 2020”. Using TWO U.S. government landmarks as props in Trump’s coronation raised concerns.
Trump’s speech wasn’t the only violation. Tuesday included a bank robber’s pardon, some immigrants’ naturalization (alleging support for legal immigration, though Trump’s policies drastically reduced it), and Secretary of State Pompeo’s convention speech from Israel – while on official business. Critics charged politicization of government business is illegal, violating the Hatch Act. Chief of Staff Meadows dismissively replied Americans don’t care – as if the Administration must only obey laws citizens care about.
Another example: FLOTUS Melania Trump spoke at her redesigned Rose Garden (some claim it resembles a cemetery). Her adoring fans, including husband Donald, were unmasked and undistanced.
- At least she showed compassion for 180,000 U.S. Coronavirus deaths (almost 25% of worldwide total). Few Republicans even mentioned COVID. Trump’s chief economic advisor, Larry Kudlow, pretended it’s over: “it WAS awful… but presidential leadership came with… an extraordinary rescue”. With deaths increasing and the economy shattered, Moderates wonder if we’ll survive Trump’s “rescue”.
VP Pence also praised Trump’s pandemic response: “We’re developing treatments… saving lives all across America.” Everybody hopes treatments (in development and testing) WILL save lives – but claiming they ALREADY do, in significant numbers, is exaggerated.
As of Friday morning, four people attending the RNC in Charlotte had tested positive for COVID. Nearly 4,000 Americans died from it during the GOP’s social amnesia this week; approximately 1,000 are still dying, on average, EVERY DAY.
- Pence criticized Biden, saying “last week, Democrats didn’t talk much about their agenda”. But at least they HAVE one. For the first time in its 166-year history, the GOP has no platform. Sticking with 2016’s platform, supposedly; but mostly, declaring Republicans will support ANYTHING Trump does.
Developing a platform, party leaders traditionally debate policies, reaching CONSENSUS on goals. Instead, Republicans wrote Trump a blank check, to do anything with their blessing. Do Democrats’ warnings of a march toward authoritarianism seem more realistic now?
Unsurprisingly, the new/old GOP platform doesn’t include Trump’s undelivered 2016 promises:
- finishing the border wall (with Mexico paying for it);
- repealing Obamacare (fortunate, since Republicans never created viable health-care plans);
- reducing, then eliminating, federal debt (quite the opposite, increasing debt more than any other post-war president);
- creating four-percent economic growth (the best was three-percent, from massive tax cuts that exploded deficits);
- releasing tax returns (he promised he would, after alleged IRS audit; still hasn’t).
- Republicans’ convention challenge: re-nominating a candidate with 20,000 falsehoods, misstatements, and lies since taking office, according to nonpartisan fact-checkers like factcheck.org. Could they enthusiastically support him, enabling a chronic liar?
Sycophants, like Pence, ignore (or believe) Trump’s lies. But observers hoped a few Republicans with some respect for truth (like former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley), wouldn’t. Those hopes were dashed Monday, when Haley, Senator Tim Scott (R-SC), rare prominent black Republican, and others enthusiastically drank Trump’s Kool-Aid (ORANGE Kool-Aid?).
- After GOP complaints about the “negative” Democratic convention, Republicans proved nobody can out-negative them. Kimberly Guilfoyle (whose screeching inspired the “Guilfoyle Challenge” on social media) and boyfriend Don Trump, Jr., bellowed hatred for Democrats – to an empty hall. Guilfoyle is reportedly paid $180,000/year by Trump’s campaign (as is other son Eric’s wife Lara).
- Showman Trump craved high ratings for his convention. Media ratings define great presidents, in his mind. Democrats received HIGHER Nielsen ratings Monday – Wednesday, disappointing Trump.
- Another noticeable change: Republican ex-president George W. Bush and former nominee Mitt Romney didn’t attend nor speak. Reportedly, they weren’t invited, since Trump holds petty grievances against them – proving he can’t unite his own party, much less the nation.
So what if Trump violated American tradition, history, decorum? All helped make America what we are, and what we aspire to continue being. Trump’s propensity to destroy all that demonstrates his desire to determine our future ALONE.
- Trump chided an adoring crowd (chanting the customary “four more years”): “If you want to drive them crazy, say TWELVE more years”. Just joking – or was he? If re-elected, would he then try to repeal the Twenty-Second Amendment, so he could run again?
After two unconventional conventions in these unconventional times, the election sprint now begins. May the best man win; and then, as Melania says, “Be Best” as president.
Moderates, you might decide which man wins – VOTE.
Images: Google Images
RNC Entrance: New York Times
Trump in Rose Garden: AP Photo/Evan Vucci
Trump and Pence: AP Photo/Andrew Harnik
Haley and Scott: Post and Courier
Trump Jr. and Guilfoyle: Cult MTL
Trump and supporters: ABC News