My cardiologist warned me not to watch the Republican National Convention. And I tried to follow his advice. But as your faithful reporter come out of retirement, I gradually—half out of duty, half out of curiosity—let myself be drawn in. And now I’m suffering a hangover of huge, horrible, terrible dimension. That’s what an over-consumption of hate can do to one if you’re not a hardened Trumpster.
No doubt you watched the same four-day orgy of anger that I peeked in on periodically, so you’ll understand I write this still shell-shocked after the final night. Of course, your own eyes and the mind behind them are your best judge of Trump’s version of “Song of Myself.” So I tried to focus on just a few specific areas of the acceptance speech. Primarily, I wondered whether he would he run true to megalomaniacal form and make grandiose and improbable promises of what he would do as president. Surely an acceptance speech of your party’s nomination (which he “humbly and gratefully” accepted) would be the time and place to give us specifics to go with the generalities, means to the ends, “hows” to the promises made.
I resolved to note all the “hows” as I listened to what turned out to be a 73-minute self-coronation. In upcoming posts (that I hope to make daily), I will parse Trump’s acceptance speech paragraph by paragraph for content, sense and accuracy.
For now though, with the “LOCK HER UPs! and “YES YOU WILLs!” still rattling through my hurting head, I’m going to get a little rest from the hate fest just past.
Before I do, let me leave you with a few peripheral observations of the Gauleiter’s night to shine. There were moments during the speech when Trump’ s stance and style of delivery reminded me of Benito Mussolini; yes, I was alive then and watched Il Duce bluster in the newsreels that preceded the Saturday matinee’s cowboy flicks back in the late 1930s and early 1940s.
About half way through Trump’s message of gloom and doom, I shifted my focus to the faces in the crowd, and then the hands and whether they were clapping or being sat upon. What surprised me most was that at times some sections rose to cheer or chant, while others went silent and frowned. Moreover, the sections kept shifting, as well as waxing and waning in size, as though I were viewing them through a kaleidoscope. Only occasionally did the crowd come close to unanimous and noisy approval, and that was when von Trump was pillorying Hillary.
I was looking forward to the end of the endless jeremiad for a reason beyond its vacuous, fear-mongering content. I was anxious to see when the cameras panned the crowd how the audience had received it, make my final rough calculation on how well Trump had connected with his faithful.
Not to be. Just as the Republican nominee finished by relaying God’s blessing to us and telling us loved us, the avalanche of red, white and blue balloons cascaded from the ceiling (or was it the heavens?) between the camera and the crowd, obscuring the answer from view. Foiled again. Was this planned? A deliberate cover up? Frustration led to anger. I had joined the crowd, in immediate need of some anger management therapy. Goodnight.