The Dark (K)Night of Cleveland

Professor Harold Trump arrived in Cleveland and began his final quest to close the sale.  That’s what salesmen do.

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I’m so depressed.  Because Donald Trump made me feel that way in Cleveland Thursday night. The United States, according to Trump, invoking a Reverse-Reagan, is a “tarnished city in a hole.”  I know I am right about this because over at Fox News they’re pounding away at the out-of-touchiness of people like me and everybody else on tv who said we had just seen a speech that was an attempted leveraged buyout of the Soul of America.  Howard Kurtz, like all who enter The Kingdom of Fox, checked his integrity at the door, said in a piece deceptively titled Trump Turns Serious, Rolling the Dice on a Policy-Packed Speech“Trump was all business, and his mission was to persuade wavering voters that he has the depth and discipline to run the country. In short, to pass the commander-in-chief test.”  Did it work?  More later.

The pre-speech film bio was mistitled, considering its pessimistic subject.  As a counterpoint to Bill Clinton’s 1992 seventeen-minute intro called The Man From Hope, Trump’s should have been billed as The Man From No Hope–Unless You Elect Him. When the history of this convention is finally written, let it be said that Melania The Plagiarizer had much better taste stealing from Michelle Obama than Donald did in stealing his ideas for dividing the country from the ’68-vintage Richard Nixon. “Law and Order” was better off being put away as a phrase from the ash heap of history and as a successful NBC police/law franchise. Believe me.  Roger Simon in Politico nails it:

Nixon used urban riots and racist fears to gain voter support. Trump has found a new enemy: “Nearly 180,000 illegal immigrants with criminal records, ordered deported from our country, are tonight roaming free to threaten peaceful citizens!”… “Roaming free” is the kind of vivid, fearful imagery that one needs to sell this kind of campaign. Expect more of it in the weeks ahead. The speech, whose transcript was footnoted on every page, promised action so swift that not a minute of the Trump administration would be wasted: “I have a message for all of you,” Trump said. “The crime and violence that today afflicts our nation will soon come to an end. Beginning on January 20, 2017, safety will be restored.” Don’t ask how.

Irony or coincidence? It all sinisterly ties together when you appreciate the connection between the deposed Fox News Chief Roger Ailes and Trump. Like tugboats passing in the night, Ailes was put out the door (with a cardboard box of mementos and $40 million) with Trump triumphant on the exact same day.  Ailes, whose foray into political coaching and consulting began with Richard Nixon in ’68, ends with his Fox News nurturing and fostering the legitimizing of the Insanity of Trump for these many years.  The consistency is wondrous.  Nixon listened to Ailes and turned around his nasty image via town hall meetings (new at the time) with “ordinary” citizens asking him humanizing questions.  Check one out here.

It’s not “Morning Again in America,” anymore as it was for Reagan’s syrupy, sunny reelection appeal in 1984.  It’s “Midnight Again in America,” according to Trump, who sets a new record for chutzpah by a self-proclaimed savior NOT in the specific role of Adolph Hitler by uttering these words to the nation:

“I AM YOUR VOICE…. Nobody knows the system better than me… which is why I alone can fix it.”

All that said, I hope I’m not wrong. Initial polling right after the speech, specifically on CNN, indicated mass approval of the Savior. BizPac Review: For viewers, a whopping 57 percent said they had a “very positive” reaction to the speech, while only 24 percent said the speech had a “negative effect.” Even more incredible for Trump was that 73 Screen Shot 2016-07-23 at 11.00.43 AMpercent of viewers said the policies proposed in the speech would move the country in the “right direction,” with only 24 percent saying otherwise. The speech left 56 percent of viewers saying they are “more likely” to vote for Trump.  

On his way out of Cleveland, Trump continued his feud with Ted Cruz and graciously complimented the National Enquirer for their award-winning work in general, and their remarkable, groundbreaking, fact-free-innuendo-laden non-investigation of the John F. Kennedy assassination in particular. “This was a magazine that, in many respects, is respected. They got OJ [Simpson], they got [John]Edwards, they got this. If that was The New York Times, they would have gotten Pultizers for their reporting. I’ve always said, ‘Why didn’t the National Enquirer get the Pulitzer surprise for Edwards? And OJ Simpson? And all of these things?”  Here he lies about his own lies… is this double-lying or lying squared? “I don’t know his father – I met him once – I think he’s a lovely guy,” said Trump. “All I did is point out the fact that on the cover of the National Enquirer, there’s a picture of him and crazy Lee Harvey Oswald having breakfast.”  It does me no good to ask about the reasons or the origins of the delusional breakfast reference in the middle of what should have been a gracious victory farewell to Cleveland.  Yea, right.

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A final footnote here at halftime, between conventions, was the reemergence of Tony Schwartz after 29 years to tell what he really knows about Donald Trump.  Schwartz wrote “The Art of the Deal.”  No, he really wrote the book by himself, with practically no help or cooperation from empty vessel Trump. According to NPR,

Schwartz says the portrait that he painted of Trump in The Art of the Deal is not accurate. “I helped to paint Trump as a vastly more appealing human being than he actually is. And I have no pride about that. … I did it for the money. It’s certainly weighed on me over the years,” Schwartz says. “Now, since he’s … in a position to potentially become president, it makes my decision back then look very different than it did at the time.”

“One of the chief things I’m concerned about is the limits of his attention span, which are as severe as any person I think I’ve ever met,” Schwartz says. “No matter what question I asked, he would become impatient with it pretty quickly, and literally, from the very first time I sat down to start interviewing him, after about 10 or 15 minutes, he said, ‘You know, I don’t really wanna talk about this stuff, I’m not interested in it, I mean it’s over, it’s the past, I’m done with it, what else have you got?’ ”

The idea of a president in an “incredibly complex and threatening world who can’t pay attention is itself frightening,” Schwartz says.

The number of people who know about Schwartz and will have read the original piece in the New Yorker this week is dwarfed 1000 to 1 by the number of people who know Trump from the image makeover in the book, perpetuated for 3+ decades by a co-dependent press, and his carefully-crafted by clearly false image as a strong, successful, decisive leader from Celebrity Apprentice.  God help the United States of America.