The Dark Wannabe King

Thursday the Republicans had their best night of their four in Cleveland. Considering how bad the first three were that isn’t saying much. In all honesty it was going well and accomplishing all the inside the arena goals; until the closing act that is. Much of the credit for the improved atmosphere had to go to Ted Cruz who united the crowd behind Donald Trump by alienating most of it on Wednesday night.

Even the old fashioned contested conventions were infomercials by the final day. The idea was to put on a show of Party unity and have the event wrapped up prior to 11pm to be able to dominate the late night east coast newscasts. The lead story on the news should be the Presidential and Vice Presidential nominee on the stage, hands clasped high above their heads, surrounded by family and Party bigwigs, all smiles in a sea of cascading balloons.

As poorly run as this convention was Team Trump apparently had that planned properly. The balloons were scheduled to drop at 10:53 pm, in plenty of time for your local news to broadcast the joyous scene. The evening was running ahead of schedule going into the last block to the point they had to fire up the band for a few more songs to kill some time. There was a brief, well-produced video portraying Trump in the best possible light. Then his daughter Ivanka took to the stage and did a great job of introducing her father. Then the problem in the person of Donald Trump took to the specially constructed podium and the timetable was destroyed.

Trump went on for nearly 80 minutes and did not finish until 11:35pm. The balloons ended up dropping at 11:40 pm. The local newscasts were over and most Americans who weren’t already tuned into the convention were asleep. Another opportunity lost and the only person to blame is the candidate.

Trump’s speech was effective for the people in the arena but, (while I’ll wait for the polls), I don’t think it did much to convert or motivate undecided in TV land. Trump yelled into the microphone for most of the speech to the point I twice lowered the volume. That played well with Bubba, but the rest of us? He played fast and loose with the “facts”. I picked up on many points that were compelling except for their not being true. The fact checkers had a hay day with his speech. Often what wasn’t outright incorrect (I’m being kind) was a selective stretch of the truth.

Trump made a ton of unilateral promises. He displayed the same ignorance of the powers, limitations and role of the executive branch that Sarah Palin did in 2008. He sounded like he wanted to be a dictatorial king rather than a President.

Trump, typical of the current edition of the Republican Party, presented a view of America that was so dark I often had difficulty recognizing what country he was talking about. In a nutshell he portrayed an America in dire straits, on the eve of destruction, which could only be saved by him and him alone.

The speech was appropriate in one way. This was the closing act of the convention of a Party whose mascot is an elephant. We all know the huge volume of what comes out of the hind end of an elephant.

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