Promoted by Rosi.
This was the day that I was most interested in attending the RNC here in Cleveland: the day New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie would speak on behalf of Donald J. Trump. That’s another thing – here, I constantly hear all the Republicans refer to him with the initial J. (I’ve since discovered that stands for “John”). Maybe they use his initial to distinguish him from other Trumps? I really don’t know.
Buzz at Day Two breakfast was all about Melania’s “alleged” plagiarism. One Republican leader called it all “bullshit” And that it was really, “Obama’s stealing words from Melania.” I didn’t ask, but how’s that supposed to work? Michelle traveled into the future to watch the Melania’s speech? Another Republican at my table was a lawyer. She explained the difference between “copyright infringement and plagiarism… and that plagiarism required ‘specific intent’, so therefore without a specific intent it was not plagiarism.” Huh. The update on this is, of course, that an RNC staffer owned up to the plagiarism and has offered to resign. Next.
The highlight of my day was getting credentialed so I was able to be in the room of the Quicken Loans Arena (called “The Q” locally) to hear Christie “prosecute” Hillary Rodham Clinton for her “crimes” (they like to include Rodham). I took the Cleveland train system (called the RTA or “Rapid”) downtown – more like a light-rail running through urban neighborhoods just outside Cleveland’s business center. That’s really the best way to see a city – using local transportation. I got to see a lot of the construction going on, along with old abandoned factories from the days when Cleveland was a manufacturing hub, all for $2.25, more than worth it. I walked from the Tower City Rapid station—(paying $2.25 to exit the train, a system that would never work in NY or NJ) through the streets towards the Q. The sidewalks were filled with dozens of Trump vendors selling T-shirts made in Vietnam, hats made in Bangladesh, hand-towels made Guatemala, and American flags made in China. Make America Great Again.
The streets were filled with protesters – “Socialism sucks,” apparently, several groups claimed exclusive representation of Jesus, old hippies yelled profanities at police, and and Trump fans held up pictures of Hillary in jail, captioned LOCK HER UP.
Speaker Paul Ryan made an impassioned speech for party unity. Mitch McConnell sounded childish attacking both Clintons and Obama. No surprise there.
When Christie hit the stage, he went over his prosecutor bona fides, and started to “prosecute” Hillary Clinton for her “crimes”. Hyperbole and contradictory rhetoric, more suited to a game show than real politics. Christie cited several horrible tragedies that occurred overseas in Syria and Libya that killed thousands of people and used these incidents to score political points. It was nothing more than “gotcha call & response” lending nothing to the dialogue of solving actual problems. A shameful performance; a seated governor inciting a crowd to chant LOCK HER UP.
All in all, Cleveland has been a wonderful experience – reminding me once again why I’m a Democrat and why I initially supported Bernie Sanders for president.