Have I mentioned that I’m tired? No, it’s not that I’m weary from carrying a toddler all weekend. Not just weary from the constant barrage of tragedies that seem to unfold daily on our TV screens. I’m weary from all the mental energy expended–wasted really–on Donald Trump. Wondering how he got this far. Wondering how it is that he can bully and bluster and foment divisiveness while calling it unity, racism while calling it patriotism and inchoate rage while calling it populism— and get away with it. Wondering who those people are on that convention floor cheering him on with their brains fully switched off. Wondering if this really is who we are as a nation? Good God, I hope not.
He is the definition of the word demagogue. Look it up:
Yeah, this is me, collapsed on the couch watching the GOP undertake a useless shouting match on the floor over rules while a crude, loud mouthed, xenophobic, misogynist know-nothing glides into the nomination.
They have pithy things to say like, “It’s been a rough year for the media experts–I don’t even know if they know how to talk to people from Middle America … who like to hunt, and fish, and pray and actually work for a living,”(clearly since I only hit one out of four, I am not ‘Murican enough) and “Is Donald Trump the Messiah? No, he’s just a man… a man doing this out of the goodness of his heart, because he wants to help.” (If you believe that, I have some old steaks and bad vodka to sell you. Possibly an airline and a university too.) And I believe I actually choked audibly when Sabato said, “Donald Trump believes in one America.” (N.B. it looks white, has bad hair and paints everything in gold.)
Yeah, go ahead and take a moment. I’ll wait while you get “goodness of his heart” unstuck from your craw and roll your eyeballs out from the back of your head. This is the kind of quality you get when Tim Tebow and Don King aren’t available to speak at your convention. But hold onto your hats, people, Ultimate Fighting Championship prezzie Dana White hits the podium on Tuesday.
In the mean time, we have possibly the most disorganized, off-message slate of speakers on a convention day 1 that I’ve ever seen. Who were the two Benghazi survivor guys who reminisced up there like they were on a poorly attended Comic-Con panel? I kept falling asleep before I could read their names.
And then there’s Michael McCaul. I’m wondering who the heck this guy is and why he gets a slot when he’s nattering on about “And Donald will never allow terrorists to gain ground against America — he will shake the ground they walk on.” Then he says, “I’m proud to serve as part of Trump’s national security team” and I can’t stop the hoot from exploding from my mouth. This nincompoop is your national security advisor?
“I don’t know how much more of this I can deal with,” says Eric flatly. I think he’s worried that early exposure to all this bigotry and rabble-rousing pseudo-patriotism will ruin our daughter neurologically.
“We’ll watch through Giuliani and then switch to something calming like ‘Orphan Black,'” I assure him.
So we grit our teeth and hang on til Giuliani appears, looking wider than usual, or maybe that’s just the aspect ratio in my TV being off. He proclaims that what he “did for New York, Donald Trump will do for America.” Immediately, I flash back to the 90s in Spanish Harlem when I walked daily through police checkpoints on the street –they stopped every black resident to demand ID (even from old ladies) but never once glanced at me, the whitish-Asian chick. Yeah, he’s not lying, Donald Trump would do that for America.
In the end, we were weighed down by the sheer volume of shite–“I don’t know, honey. Is a firkin of shit bigger than a crock of shit? Maybe it’s a methuselah of shit. And do you use liquid measure for that?” In any case, flattened by despair, we watched Melania –hey what the heck is Donald doing introducing her when no candidate ever shows up on day 1–Trump.
Her speech is so surreal as to be otherworldly. Caring for the poor?? When has he ever cared about the poor?? Then the NY Times reported on passages from her speech that were weirdly similar to Michelle Obama speech at the 2008 convention. Ah, that’s why it’s surreal–it was someone else’s speech. Hey, Mel, plagiarizing ideas doesn’t mean you’re unifying them.
Ugh. Okay, we turned it off after that. Maybe Bob Dole danced naked on the 50-yard line afterward (though I doubt it) but we didn’t see it.
The polling sez so
So here we are with two of the least liked, most unfavorably rated candidates ever. One has a resume that includes “member of Congress” and “Secretary of State” and the other has a string of failed businesses, a loud mouth and a Twitter account. So naturally, we will evaluate them based on the traditionally accepted standard for American politicians, which is whom you would most like to have a beer with. No, scratch that. Trump is a notorious teetotaler and Hillary enjoys craft beer, so by that standard she should be way ahead. Nope. I just don’t know why the polling is so close.
Regardless, I’ll just remind everyone of a few things:
In this modern age when people mainly have cell phones and won’t talk to pollsters, you have to ask if polling is dead in the water from the start.
Polls leading up to and following conventions always show a “bounce.” There’s still four months of shenanigans to watch after that, so don’t worry, the numbers will be up and down much more than you’re seeing today.
Poll trends that take in many polls and not just one are far more interesting, which is why I’ll be following aggregators like Electoral-Vote.com.
And speaking of electoral votes, for better or for worse, that’s pretty much all that matter ultimately. So I’m less interested in hearing about the 52%-48% split nationally than I am about how candidates are faring in key swing states like Ohio and Pennsylvania. I’ll also watch FiveThirtyEight. Yes Nate Silver got blindsided by the Trump juggernaut, but I believe he’ll adjust accordingly and take the crazy pants seriously in his future calculations. Who knew you had to pay attention to a snake oil salesman with no political experience whatsoever.
Well, that’s all for now, folks. Tune in again to watch us foam at the mouth some more. Does anyone here know first aid?