What will be remembered about the Republican National Convention that concluded last night in Cleveland, Ohio was the inability to unify the Republican Party behind their chosen nominee, Donald J. Trump.

Instead, the Republicans united in full dystopian and dysfunctional force against their Democratic Presidential rival, Hillary Clinton.  This unbound hatred found its way into every facet of the convention: to the chants of "Lock Her Up! Lock Her Up!" accompanied by signs held high with prison bars whenever a prime time speaker held the stage; to the entrepreneurial handiwork on sale in the convention lobbies depicting Hillary Clinton as the worst "Lucifer"  (Ben Carson's expression of Clinton) with the lefty wings, no breasts and fat thighs.  It was during the piece de resistance of the convention,  when Trump delivered his acceptance speech on Thursday night that Hillary Clinton, facts notwithstanding, is the one and only one responsible (well, sometimes President Obama would be included) for the chaos and the mayhem lurking around any and every corner.  

The angry tone of the Convention was set on the first day in Cleveland, on Monday morning July 18th when Paul Manafort, Chief Campaign Adviser to Trump, dismissively told reporters at a breakfast meeting that Ohio Governor (and former GOP Presidential candidate) John Kasich was "petulant" for his refusal to endorse Trump; that Kasich was "embarrassing his party in Ohio." 

From that moment on, any previously considered political niceties to unite the party around their candidate was a nonstarter. Trump and his inner circle were far more motivated to embarrass and  isolate their political rivals - and the convention delegates - with smears and accusations if they did not enthusiastically join the "Trump Train."

And then there was the floor fight Monday afternoon regarding the adaption of the rules for the Convention. The entire Colorado delegation as well as delegates from nine states left the convention hall in protest over the rules geared to squash any dissension over the Trump nomination.  "Brownshirts! Fascists!" was the common refrain heard on the floor against the "rigged system."

The word on the floor Monday night during and after the speech of Trump's wife Melania, gave praise to her poise and beauty and to her immigrant story.  However, only thirty minutes had elapsed after she left the stage when a (bipartisan) journalist noticed the eerie resemblance to the speech given by Michelle Obama at the 2008 Democratic Convention.  

It did not take long to do some fact-checking, and video replay, to arrive at the obvious conclusion: parts of Melania's speech were indeed plagiarized from Michelle Obama. 

The irony was not lost as the theft of words was discovered: the phrases used to describe love of family and loyalty and perseverance and dreaming big were stolen from Michelle Obama: the President's wife that Trump has demonized and categorized as a terrorist.  

As the plagiarism topic continue to dog the convention into its third and fourth days, it was the denial of the plagiarism, the refusal to acknowledge the reality of what had happened that was truly frustrating.  Paul Manafort, in his fine Orwellian manner, blamed Hillary Clinton since Hillary is always threatened and jealous of other females.  The spokesman for the Ohio Republican Party referenced the phrases of Crystal Sparkle, from the My Little Pony family of children's video and books, as proof that Melania would never, but ever, copy anything from the Obamas since Crystal Sparkle said the same thing.

There is one significant fact to remember from Tuesday afternoon's nomination process: there were 721 delegates who voted against Trump for their party's nominee.  For decades, the delegate count has been under one hundred dissenting votes when Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush and then George Romney were the nominees.  When Ronald Reagan was nominated again in 1984, there were zero votes against his second term.  

There was no party unity on the Trump Train.  By Wednesday night, during prime time, former rival for the Republican Presidential nomination and Texas Senator Ted Cruz concluded his speech on the glory of Christian and conservative values minus the expected endorsement of the Donald.  Instead, shouting over the loud booing and hissing once again orchestrated by Paul Manafort, Cruz urged the convention delegates and audience to "vote their conscience." 

The atmosphere became so fraught with violent overtones that Heidi Cruz, Ted's wife, was escorted out of the convention arena.

By Thursday night, after four days of scenes reminiscent of the cackling and the hysteria of the Salem Witch Trials, with an audience becoming more menacing by the hour, ("Hillary Clinton should be shot!" became another rallying cry, words that were not disavowed by the Trump circle) it was reassuring to know that the convention would soon be over. Just after the Donald spoke and the red, white and blue balloons would drop onto the stage and onto the floor - then, there would be a respite from this new Republican party spectacle.  

But, the speech given by the Donald was 75 minutes long and was a test of endurance. It was not easy listening: it was 75 minutes of Donald Trump having his worst rant ever. Forget the unity concept and the optimism presented by Ronald Reagan's "Morning for America" and the hopefulness of compassionate conservatism brought to you by the Bushes and Romney.  Trump's speech's brought us to a country where it is always midnight and fear of "the other" dominates our thoughts and lives.  A place where "the other" continues to attack the sons and daughters of the good people that made this country great - and is great no longer from the grievous mistakes made by President Obama and Clinton.  A country wracked with anxiety over its future - a future where too many "other" people now compete for jobs and for that elusive American dream.

The Republican convention was a spectacle of non-stop anger and bitterness.  It was hard to witness. Some of the commentators from PBS were obviously shaken from the violent rhetoric. It made no difference to those attending that the speeches given were largely fact-free once they were researched.

It only matters that the Trump Train eliminate Democratic Presidential contender Hillary Clinton along with the decimation of any opposition to the rule of Trump.  A frightening reality.

Next up: the Democrats in Philadelphia.


Published by Nancy Snyder