By Joey Kennedy
Alabama Political Reporter
Yeah, I delayed a day on writing this column, mainly because I wanted to see what direction the Republican National Convention was going to take.
We pretty much saw it Tuesday night and Wednesday. It’s a hate fest, and the presumptive Democratic Party presidential nominee Hillary Clinton is the target. Beating up a woman is probably nothing new for Republicans.
Listen, folks: Probably no political couple in history has been investigated as much as the Clintons. No doubt, the Clintons have made mistakes. But they’ve not been criminal mistakes. Republicans are miffed because Hillary Clinton wasn’t charged with using a personal email server while she was Secretary of State. Well, neither were Colin Powell or Condoleezza Rice.
Don’t say it’s because the Clintons have power. Republican Richard Nixon had power, and he went down. Any number of other “people of power” have fallen because of their crimes. The Clintons never have.
Monday night, we were treated to a Michelle Obama speech delivered by Donald Trump’s third wife, Melania. Last night, a Buckley plagiarized parts of Donald Trump Jr.’s speech from a previous speech of his. You can’t plagiarize yourself, but if you present your thoughts to another person without attribution, it’s plagiarism.
Do these people have original thoughts?
More to the point, do they have any plans for the country, except “Make America Great Again”?
This convention, and I’ve covered four of them, has to be the most disorganized, hateful political convention ever.
Besides stealing other people’s thoughts, and other people’s songs (Queen was upset that the Trump camp used its iconic “We are the Champions” without permission), the main point to now has been to hate on Hillary.
And, yes, one can expect the politicos are going to criticize their opponents.
But then we get this from a Donald Trump adviser this week: Hillary Clinton, Trump adviser and New Hampshire state Rep. Al Baldasaro said, should be “put in the firing line and shot for treason.”
These are con men. And they’ve conned Republicans. And Republicans are letting them.
Trump allows this violent discourse, like words and actions don’t matter. Well, they do. Look at five Dallas police officers gunned down. Look at three Baton Rouge police officers gunned down.
Look at the violence that has taken place at numerous Donald Trump rallies. Look at the basically racist rhetoric coming from the Republican Convention this week.
No convention I covered – two Democratic and two Republican – ever had the hateful rhetoric we’re seeing this week in Cleveland. I covered the first Republican convention after 9/11 – in New York – and there were Muslims offering opening prayers and participating as part of some delegations.
Folks, it’s scary today. And that Trump has to put practically every member of his family on the dais to speak this week shows that, well, it’s hard to find decent Republicans to speak. Instead, he leverages the family. With other people’s speeches, no less.
Even the Republican governor of Ohio, John Kasich, refused to attend the Cleveland convention. Because reasonable people are not going to adopt Trump’s bullying and anti-everything-but-angry-white-men attitude.
Trump’s vice presidential pick, Mike Pence, is homophobic, anti-woman, and anti-immigrant. Just like Trump. Angry White Men.
Trump’s current wife and children are plagiarists. Trump himself has been accused of dishonest business transactions. The dude has companies that have filed for bankruptcy at least four times. His Trump University has been exposed as a scam. Trump has alienated Muslims, women, Latinos, the LGBTQ community, African-Americans, and others.
Look at the crowd at the convention. Oh, there are some brown-skinned people – not a lot — but it’s likely they just feel skinned. In this campaign, anyway.
So instead of talking about how Trump will “Make American Great Again,” they talk about Hillary. Instead of talking about how Trump will “Make America Safe Again,” they plagiarize Michelle Obama. Instead of talking about how Trump will “Make America Work Again,” they bash immigrants.
These are scary people. Angry White Men usually are. Because they’re unhinged, as much as Rudy Giuliani was the other night. What’s up with that? Giuliani was magnificent after 9/11. He’s basically been his own 9/11 since.
The level of hate at this convention tops anything I’ve seen in politics, and I’ve seen a lot, on both sides.
I witnessed the emergence of a strong Republican party in Alabama when I attended the 2008 Republican Convention in St. Paul, Minn. I didn’t necessarily agree, but I was impressed. Then, a strong, moral state representative was chairman of the Alabama Republican Party. He made sure the Alabama Republican delegation was level and sane and represented the state well.
That man was Mike Hubbard, former speaker of the Alabama House, now waiting to go to prison for massive corruption.
There you have it. The Republicans. They can’t govern, and many of them are haters. That’s a really bad combination.
Joey Kennedy, a Pulitzer Prize winner, writes this column every week for Alabama Political Reporter. Email: [email protected]