Wednesday, July 18, 2018
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Lockdown in Cleveland: Party Unity v. Anti-Trumpism


Cleveland is occupied GOP territory, the area around the Quicken Loans Arena convention site taken over from city residents.

Thousands of heavily armed state and local police, DHS and federal secret service agents, along with National Guard and federal troops available if needed to control things. Police states operate this way.

What’s orchestrated resembles a militarized event as much as a party unifying one to choose its standard bearer. Monday’s theme was making America safe again.

Fiery over-the-top speeches dominated proceedings, rants without substance, raw meat for the party’s extremist base. Politico described Monday evening as follows:

“(F)or about two prime-time hours, viewers were hit with a relentless recitation of death, anger, danger, helplessness, blood, murder, fear and terror -  graphic stories about Benghazi, crimes committed by illegal immigrants and out-of-control terrorism abetted by Hillary Clinton.”

The anti-Trump New York Times called day one “divisive,” saying “unusual jousting among Republicans…gave way to more traditional fiery speeches” blasting Clinton and Obama.

Former New York mayor Rudi Giuliani ignored killer cops turning US streets into battlegrounds defending privilege from beneficial social change - shameless saying “when they come to save your life, they don’t ask you if you’re black or white…”

Milwaukee County, WI sheriff David Clarke, Jr. railed about “Blue lives matter(ing),” accusing Occupy Wall Street and Black Lives Matter activists of “violat(ing) the code of conduct we rely on.”

Rancor marred proceedings. Trump opponents lost a floor fight for a recorded roll call vote on changing convention rules. Unity fell short on day one.

Whether divisiveness continues remains to be seen, Trump a polarizing figure throughout the campaign, aiming to rebrand himself as a uniter, not a divider.

His campaign manager Paul Manafort bashed Ohio Governor John Kasich, saying he “embarrass(ed) his state” by refusing a speaking slot.

Anti-Trump protesters assembled outside the convention site, hundreds, not thousands so far, perhaps orchestrated larger numbers coming later in the week.

The Baltimore Sun said “activists on both sides of the political spectrum seem(ed) more interested in message than melee.” Minor disturbances alone occurred so far with few arrests and no violence.

Party conventions are more spectacle than substantive and edifying, tedious and boring except perhaps for the faithful.

Proceedings are scripted, outcomes predetermined. Things culminate with party standard bearers delivering acceptance speeches - pledging what’s quickly forgotten once winning candidates enter office.

Elections in America are farcical. Monied interests run things. Party bosses serve them. Voters have no say whatever. Democracy in America is pure fantasy - fiction, not fact.

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