Select One and Choose Wisely -- Or Choose Not To
"The one thing that I think is important to recognize is this idea that America is somehow on the verge of collapse, this vision of violence and chaos everywhere doesn't really jibe with the experience of most people."
"I hope people the next morning [following the Republican National Convention] walked outside and birds were chirping and the sun was out, and this afternoon, people will be watching the kids play on sports teams and go to the swimming pool and folks are going to work and getting ready for the weekend."
"And in particular, I think it is important, just to be absolutely clear here, that some of the fears that were expressed throughout the week just don't jibe with the facts."
"The Republicans had an opportunity this week to share their vision with the country and emphasized those issues that they thought were important. And I'm going to let the American people judge how persuasive their arguments were."
U.S. President Barack Obama
"It is unlike any political convention I've attended. And frankly unlike any political convention I've ever seen."
"Typically these [national conventions] are highly polished, highly produced. This convention has been full of unexpected turns and twists and lots of drama. It's almost like its very own reality television show."
"I understand the need as commander in chief to have someone who projects strength. But you also have to project stability and good judgement and a willingness to stand with your allies [NATO]."
"That's the great mystery [whether Trump-style spontaneity has any substance behind it]. And that uncertainty is disquieting. Because we're not sure how he's going to govern. We're not even sure how he's going to campaign."
Ryan Call, Republican delegate, former youth director for Bush 2000 Colorado campaign
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a post Republican Convention campaign event in Cleveland, Ohio, July 22, 2016. Reuters/Carlo Allegri
There were quite a few notable absences from the national convention that the Republicans ostensibly, but the Trump family actually, put on this year to kick off their informally formal campaign for the presidency, for the purpose of assigning candidature to the man whom no one ever thought would eventually carry the day, disposing of one credible and semi-credible alternative candidate after another when an astounding number of Americans responded to his clarion call.
The dynasty that is Bush was nowhere to be seen. In its place another dynasty that saw itself featuring as the incoming face of family values representing Republican interests to a populace fed up with the old, tried and untrue familiar. Politics is and always has been gritty and dirty business where trust was in short supply because the exigencies of office-holding dictate otherwise than campaign promises claim. But this year of 2016 will surely stand out as the most distinguishing year of lunacy on the campaign front in the history of the great U.S. of A.
A contender with no political experience, more than compensated for by an entitled arrogance and utter disregard for truth, legitimacy, courtesy, history, diplomacy, and intelligence. All of which were lacking in depth, breadth and intent. Donald Trump had no need of attack dogs, he is himself a one-man-attack-pack showman, strident and offensively bullying and cocksure. Characteristics that have never before been identified as critical components for a successful presidential candidate.
The visceral distaste for all of those attributes by those inclined to vote Democratic in the upcoming presidential election gives credence to their assertion that they are more capable of governing well than someone, say of the calibre of a past candidate who did have possession of presidential qualities, Mitt Romney. But he failed as a result of a few clumsy misadventures in emoting his proposed agenda and values when insufficient voters of a Republican persuasion rallied around his candidature.
|A pensive, flawed alternative Hillary Clinton --Reuters/Carlo Allegri|
How the same electorate of the same political persuasion suddenly and convincingly rallied behind a man who exemplifies bombast, boasting, belligerent ox-headedness must surely represent the mystery of the Century. "We've gotten a bit blind to the concerns of average, everyday Americans. And he's come in, with his message that might be a bit rough around the edges But it's a message that's resonating with the American people", explained Ryan Call, described as a representative of the party establishment who will, despite his doubts, swallow his chagrin and in the final analysis support Trump for president.
And that's a huge part of the mystery; how and why it is that even those Republicans who do represent the established order of a venerable, once-trusted political party who originally disputed the intelligence of this particular candidate, finding him wanting in every conceivable way, now have buckled to the reality of the populist backing of a typical huckster. "Everyone says he's got to bite his lip and watch his tongue a little bit. But a lot of [what he says] is really refreshing. He's saying things that a lot of people want to hear", said Jim Miller a Wisconsin delegate who had campaigned for Scott Walker.
The late converts take comfort from selecting a few statements of intent that issue from the fevered lips of the presidential contender that they can find agreement with, choosing obliviousness to the far more numerous issues that he addressed in his inimitably inflammatory and little-understood (through his limited cerebral functioning) details. From his quips about other nations' disappointment when the U.S. no longer guarantees their safety, to barbs about trade deals inconveniencing the American worker and allusions to immigrant criminality.
Elites within the Republican party can only hope to hold on to their self-respect and dignity by continuing to reject this bumptious poseur whom the world views with both curiosity and repugnance; curiosity that the great American people could imagine him as their president, and repugnance at the very thought that ensconced in the Oval Office he has the capacity to upend world order in a manner certain to benefit the dark side of humanity.