GOP Convention Diary, Day 4 and the Final Entry: Law and Order Trump Is the New Nixon

CLEVELAND — The last night of a political convention is supposed to be one of euphoria, high hopes, and all around good feeling. It should be sort of a combination birthday party, bar mitzvah and wedding celebration — sort of a high school reunion that’s gone well and everybody leaves happy.

That was not the mood when I left the hall last night. Even the D.C. Republicans, not one of them for Trump, were complaining about Ted Cruz (he didn’t get one D.C. delegate, either.)

Cruz told the delegates each to “vote their conscience.” Most interpreted that to mean: you are free not to vote for Trump, the party’s presidential nominee. Party loyalists, even anti-Trump people think this is bad behavior. 

To those in the moderate wing of the party (is there one?) or centrists who are proudly secular, they had to be troubled by the selection of the final night’s speakers.

It started with Tony Perkins, the lead-off speaker. The right wing cultural religious czar put everyone on notice where he believes the party should be.  Parker is the guy who at the last moment inserted an anti-D.C. plank in the Republican platform. 

He was followed by Jerry Falwell, Jr. No more need be said.

Then, speakers moved to Trump’s favorite topic, immigration. Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who is treated like a deity, repeated the “build the wall” theology. Bobby Knight, the legendary coach appeared by video, the shortest one I’ve ever seen.

Marsha Blackburn, representative from Tennessee and Mary Fallin, governor of Oklahoma were slated to show that the GOP loves women. There was a well done video, narrated by John Voight, that portrayed Trump as a master builder and highly successful businessman. 

Then came the main event. That would be Donald J. Trump.

I thought I was listening to Richard Nixon. Trump is the law and order candidate. The entire speech was to scare you into voting for Trump. He is the only guy who will make us safe and give us “the respect we deserve.”

Continuous use of the word “amazing” in all sorts of references continued. Very little or none at all specifics on how all these things will be accomplished. That’s never been Trump’s strong suit.

After four days it comes down to: Trust me. I’m your guy. I’m tough. I made a lot of money. I’m not going to be politically correct. I’m not your typical politician. I’ll make America win again.

Don’t ask me how. Just trust me.

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