DAY 3 observed. #Voices4Hillary. Evangeline Morphos has a strong stomach and continues to inform us about the #RNCinCLE. Share with anyone you know who cares about America.

Day 3 of My Republican Convention Hangover

by Evangeline Morphos

I had decided to play a drinking game last night—I would take a shot at the mention of any real policy issue. Well, I might as well have been in Drytown, Utah. I was dead sober throughout the evening—and yet, I may have the worst hangover of my life this morning.

The television media and even the print media struggle to shoehorn the events of this convention into the political format they are used to covering. But let's make no mistake about it: we are really watching the hostile take-over of the democratic system.

Trump flew into Cleveland yesterday in his own black and gold jet, literally buzzing past an outdoor Ted Cruz rally before it landed. As he emerged from the plane, the musical theme of the movie Air Force One blasted in the background.
Trump later upstaged Cruz once again when his ominous helicopter landed during Cruz' speech on the convention floor, and he entered the arena to menacingly stare down Cruz at the moment he was refusing to give his endorsement.
Trump is living in his own fictional reality that is borrowed in part from blockbuster films and in part from his own delusional egotism.

These moments of the spectacle of power are exactly how fascist leaders take over a country. This is not about the power of the Presidency—this is about Trump's personal authority and will.

Moments of spectacle of power are how fascist leaders take over.

His signature colors of black and gold have substituted for the red white and blue of the American flag. When Trump addressed the audience Tuesday night by satellite, his image was preceded by the phallic, soaring shot of the Trump Tower logo. Several months ago when Trump was confronted with the fact that he had tweeted a Mussolini quote he said: "I know who said it. But what difference does it make whether it's Mussolini or somebody else?"

The insinuating and insidious power of Trump's moment of triumph over the Republican establishment was lost on the media. Trump came and went, like an ominous presence.

For the pundits and commentators, the story was about Ted Cruz' refusal to endorse Donald Trump, and they were thrilled at the little bit of drama that had been injected into an evening that otherwise repeated the same platitudes about American greatness, and the same droning vilifications of Hillary Clinton. So excited were they by the back-room politics of the speech, they failed to comment on the content.

Lest anyone regret Cruz as the road-not- taken, examine his rhetoric last night. Cruz outlined a throwback conservative agenda that in his debate-trained twisted logic equated states' rights with freedom, "local values" with diversity, and American sovereignty with an opposition to net neutrality. (Honestly, I thought the idea of states' rights had already been done away with). Cruz' insistence on states' rights indicated why the Republican establishment might reluctantly remain in the thrall of Trump. Many of the Supreme Court's decisions will be about states' rights vs. federal rights.

Here is where Mike Pence comes in—as if on cue. Mike Pence signals to Republican establishment that Trump will leave conservative values in place.

On the surface, Pence was self-effacing, funny and charming. The general consensus of the media was that this was a "good speech." As an introduction to the American people, Pence's appearance at the convention might have been reassuring. He spoke about the prosperity and rise in job rates in Indiana over the past four years of his governorship—ignoring completely that this was the national upward trend of Obama's economic recovery.
That's why it was up to the press to tell us who Mike Pence is, and what he stands for. Instead, the reporters were busy tracking down irrelevant evidence of who had "booed" Ted Cruz.

Among other things Pence does not believe in are a woman's right to choose. He does believe that "smoking doesn't kill" because only 1 in 3 smokers die of smoking-related illnesses, and he does believe that the animated film Mulan is the product of some "mischievous liberal at Disney" and is a subliminal way of entering the debate over women in the military.
Most horrifyingly, Pence signed a law that allowed businesses to discriminate against LGBT individuals, which almost put business out of business. Visit Indy — Indianapolis' convention and tourism organization — found that Indiana lost at least $60 million in revenue after lawmakers there passed the so-called Religious Freedom Restoration Act,

The reality is that Mark Pence precisely mirrors the appalling platform that was adopted at this year's Republican convention. By now, you may know that the RNC platform calls for the end of Roe v. Wade and the overturn of the right of all to citizens to marry. But did you know that the platform demands that lawmakers use religion as a guide when legislating, stipulating "that man-made law must be consistent with God-given, natural rights." Did you know that Pornography is the top problem facing America? I digress….

And anti-gay, anti-minimum wage, etc.

At the same time that Pence was accepting the nomination for the Vice-Presidency, two shocking pieces of news were revealed.

The first was an insight into how Trump imagined the Presidency. According to a New York Times reporter, when Kasich was approached about being the vice presidential nominee, Trump Jr. said that as vice president he would have power over all "domestic and foreign policy." When asked what Trump's role would be, Trump Jr responded: "Making America great again."

What does this mean? Is Trump going to yield power? Is he just a big-picture kinda guy?No—this is a warning signal that Trump does not understand the checks and balances of the constitution; nor does he understand the role of the presidency relative to the three equal branches of government.The second disturbing piece of news is that Trump signaled that he would unilaterally disturb the United States relationship to NATO. Now, this is from a man who failed to make the distinction between his ass and Brexit the morning after England voted to withdraw from the EU.

Yesterday's events in the arena and outside of it made clear that Trump has no intention of being a traditional President. In fact, he has no intention of being a constitutional president.

A group of historians, including David Nasaw and William Luchtenberg, have gone on line, sending up flares that Trump's presidential bid is dangerously unique in American politics. Last summer Alan Brinkley wrote in Politico: "It is amazing that a candidate for president has no discernable policy nor any belief system other than the certainty that anything he says is right. Trump is not seeking votes, he is simply demanding attention."

Trump's deviation from the traditional should not be viewed as merely "unconventional." The press needs to vet him for the office he is running for, and the electorate needs to be vigilant about protecting our democracy.


July 21, 2016

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