To call the first three days of the 2016 #Republican National Convention an embarrassing disaster would be a massive understatement. The lineup of speakers has been the most underwhelming in history, with more soap opera actors (2) than past presidents of the United States (0)
The biggest stories- a plagiarism scandal involving Melania Trump’s speech, Ted Cruz getting booed off the stage after refusing to endorse Trump, Ben Carson comparing the Democratic nominee to Lucifer, numerous, conspicuous empty seats- have not only stepped on the campaign’s message, but have done much to reinforce the notion that Trump is running an amateur operation that has no idea what it’s doing.
Many observers have noticed the absence of the vast majority of the party’s “rising stars” from this year’s RNC. The GOP has elected countless new governors, senators and Congressmen in recent years, the sort of people who at most conventions receive their first exposure to the national spotlight and often establishment themselves as future players in the party.
This year, most of those people are nowhere to be found, which is why major prime time real estate has been taken up by the likes of Scott Baio, various obscure business leaders and Donald Trump’s many children. In a normal year, someone like Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse would have a major speaking spot, but thanks to Trump, he’s not even in Cleveland.
The South Carolina Omission.
But there’s one other aspect of the 2016 RNC that is especially embarrassing. A little over a year ago, the Confederate flag finally came down from the statehouse in South Carolina. Sure, it happened years later than it should have and came in the aftermath of the horrific church massacre in Charleston. But it came down- and it was a Republican governor, Nikki Haley, who led calls to remove the flag, and ultimately signed the legislation that took it down. The decision was also supported by Tim Scott, the state’s Republican U.S. senator and the only African-American Republican in the Senate.
The Republican Party hasn’t had a lot to proud of in the last few years, but this was one moment of triumph. Republicans, for years, had resisted taking the flag down, but then it came down, with the GOP leading the charge. In Cleveland, this moment has not been mentioned from the stage a single time. Haley is not speaking at the convention. Neither is Scott, who also eloquently shared his experiences of police mistreatment on the Senate floor last week. While both are in Cleveland as delegates- and have even endorsed Trump, on “I endorse the nominee of the party” grounds- neither has gotten anywhere near the stage.
Instead, the Republican party has fully embraced nativism, white identity politics and the worst kind of fear-mongering, including an entire opening night that was dedicated to telling the audience all the different ways that brown people are coming to kill them. The lack of attention to the flag episode or spots for Haley or Scott is not the most embarrassing thing about this convention- not even close. But it does say a whole lot about why the Republican Party is in the spot it’s currently in. That they didn't include this in their convention- or even think to include it- is unconscionable. #Government #Democrats vs Republicans