Voices4Hillary is pleased to present The Hillary We Know Executive Committee Member Evangeline Morphos' reaction to the #RNCinCLE day after a long day one. Have a look and share with your friends, if you dare.


Day 1 of My Republican Hangover

By Evangeline Morphos

Like most political junkies, I've binge-watched television coverage of conventions for years, but the opening night of the Republican convention has left me, and the nation with a very bad hangover this morning. Despite the ridiculousness interlude of Melania's "trumped up" speech to humanize her husband, the message last night was that the Trump candidacy has hijacked the democratic system.

Early in the afternoon on Monday chaos erupted in the Convention Hall as several delegates, part of a "Stop Trump" movement, pushed for a roll call on the convention rules. But the protest was quickly bullied down by the presiding officials, leaving the Republican Party with no way out of nominating Donald Trump as its candidate for the Presidency. The end of the protest was also the end of any mention of the word "Republican Party" throughout the entire evening. This is no longer the Republican convention—it is entirely Donald Trump's. Not a single speaker used the RP word at any point. The Republican Party seemed to have dissolved into the branding strategy of Donald Trump's singular ambition.

Traditionally, speakers on the kick-off night of the convention are political luminaries who energize the crowd and set the tone for down-ticket victories. Last night the only "show" in a long list of "no-shows" was a corpsed-looking Bob Dole who looked sorely in need of one of those little blue pills he once promoted on television.

Monday night's roster was more like the list of guest stars for a re-boot of "The Love Boat" than speakers at a political convention--Has-beens and D-list celebrities like Scott Baio (whose last executive position was "Charles in Charge"), one of the guys from "Duck Dynasty", and Anthony Sabato (who, as the scroll below his image reminded us had done underwear ads for Calvin Klein) all dog-whistled ominous warnings about "Keeping America Safe" and lecturing us about "What it Means to Be an American". Even the former Navy Seal, Marcus Lutrell, (the Lone Wolf) who might have had something real to say about veterans' issues, conflated war in Afghanistan with war in the streets at home with chilling certainty: "In order for any life to matter—we all have to matter. You hear? ….Your war is here."

Dead Duck #RNCinCLE

The prejudice and divisiveness that has been Trump's message throughout the campaign turned from dog-whistle to trumpet with Congressman Mike McCaul's appearance. Although McCaul serves as Chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, he identified himself publically only as one of Trump's "national security advisers". There was not even a nod to the good people of the Texas' 10th District which he serves. McCaul's speech was about "taking back our country" –and it sounded more like a call to violence than a call for party unity. "We need to end sanctuary cities, keep dangerous people out of our country, and secure our borders once and for all." McCaul's ugly rhetoric was echoed in subsequent speeches by Milwaukee County Sherriff, David Clarke, and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

Giuliani was particularly frenetic raising the spectre of our "enemies". Giuliani, ended his speech with a warning to these enemies: "You know who you are, and we are coming to get you." So much for the Republican Party's hopes of attracting new voters, and expanding its base. The Trump delegates, and supporters seemed lock-stepped in his alternative reality of an America crouched in fear and in danger every minute. A live commentary on reminded readers that the statistics that last night's speakers were citing were completely wrong—but what good did that do the terrified voters who were watching television instead of reading Nate Silver and his team of realists on the web. This is clearly going to be a campaign built on fear, and one that accuses both the Democratic Party and the Republican Party for allowing the danger to exist. The message last night was that only Donald Trump can protect America. The language used was sometimes apocalyptic, and sometimes messianic—but always focused on the singularity of the presumptive nominee.

That's why the convention had to be about Trump and not the Republican Party. Last night Trump configured the campaign not as a two-party system working its way through the democratic process; but as a mano-a-mano, single battle between himself and Hillary Clinton. Donald Trump knows he can't beat the Democratic candidate; but he does think he can beat a demonized Hillary Clinton. To that end, a parade of speakers came forward to witness how Hillary (and Obama) were responsible for the deaths of their sons and loved ones. Make no mistake, my heart aches for the real grief of these families—but let's get real.

Accusing Hillary of killing people in Benghazi, accusing Obama of allowing people to be killed by undocumented immigrants and accusing the Black Lives Matter movement of causing the murder of police officers is deranged logic and to "weaponize" people's grief is dangerously dishonest. The final two speakers ended the evening by joining the frantic chanting from the audience: "Lock her up!"

Trump showed his hand last night. This election is a battle he is going to fight his way. He has left no room for advice from Republican leadership, and he has no room on his Brioni coattails for any other Republican candidates.

It is also going to be a vicious fight, and it's going to be personal.

(Oh, and yes—the beautiful, but hapless, Melania spoke last night. She was introduced by The Donald who appeared first in shadow and emerged to the strains of the illegally played "We Are Champions." Grabbing the mic like an aging lounge-lizard, Trump kept breathing into it: "We are gonna win so big." Melania, for her part, had learned her speech. The fact that it sounded as if it was written by a college essay tutor, or a Miss Universe consultant was not her fault. But it turns out that even the banality provided by the speechwriter was unoriginal. Many of the sections were plagiarized from Michelle Obama's speech at the 2008 convention. We did, however, learn that as First Lady Melania would "help children and women."

Well, that's inclusiveness, I guess.)

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