A GOP convention minus GOP principles
That smirk. That air kiss to Pence. That inability to focus on anyone or anything other than himself. That man whose narcissism, underpinned by pathological insecurity, leads him to relentless boasting as if he has no self control at all.
Donald Trump’s speech introducing his choice of a running mate reflected a man so impressed by himself and the spotlight of the presidential campaign, he was rendered incapable of even the smallest crumb of self-doubt. As Ezra Klein of Vox put it, “There is no other way to say this than to say it: it was the single most bizarre, impulsive, narcissistic performance I have ever seen from a major politician.”
If this were a high school student council president contest, we’d be amused. If it were a state legislative race, we’d be appalled but reassured that one person can’t cause that much damage in a legislative body. But this rambling, strange, riff after riff of a speech—more suited to a late-night partisan drink fest than a campaign for the highest office in the nation—revealed once again that Trump is the most unqualified and ill-suited candidate for president we’ve ever seen.
And then there was Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, newly minted vice presidential candidate. “I’m a Christian, a conservative and a Republican in that order,” he proudly declared. Although 75 percent of the nation has never heard of him or has no opinion, they’re soon to find out he’s a relic from another time who thinks women should never be allowed to control their reproductive health and businesses should freely discriminate against gays according to the dictates of their faith. He’s not a fan of immigrants either.
The Republican ticket seems designed to repel women, every ethnic and racial minority, the LGBT community, and the young.
And that was before the Republican convention.
The platform offends just about everyone except white, middle-class evangelicals. The Log Cabin Republicans, a gay advocacy interest group trying to force the Republican party to be more gay-friendly, called it “the most anti-LGBT platform in the party’s 162-year history,” citing “opposition to marriage equality, nonsense about bathrooms [and] the endorsement of the debunked psychological practice of ’pray the gay away.’”
But never mind. Trump appeared at the convention on its first evening ostensibly to introduce his wife, but really to grasp the opportunity to majestically enter the stage silhouetted mystically in a machine-created mist, like the charlatan he is.
There were other fun convention moments, such as the head of the Nevada delegation declaring on national television that the capital of Nevada is Las Vegas, or the somersaults by the Trump campaign trying to explain away Melania Trump’s plagiarized remarks from Michelle Obama’s 2008 convention speech by invoking My Little Pony. And we won’t soon forget Ted Cruz enjoying the limelight of boos when he refused to endorse Trump in his vetted prime time speech.
Trump’s much-anticipated and much-too-long acceptance speech was dark and incoherent as he jumped from topic to topic with a message of doom and gloom, but not to worry, he will make it all right. Soon, very soon. Believe me.
When asked by the New York Times what he hoped people would take away from the convention, Trump replied, “The fact that I’m very well liked.”
As Pence noted in his remarks to the press after being chosen for the ticket, “Elections are about choices…and the choice could not be more clear, and the stakes could not be higher.” I was nodding in agreement until he continued, saying, “Republican principles work every time you put them into practice.” But I’m not even sure Trump has any.