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2016 Republican National Convention

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The GOP is becoming the de facto White party. Nothing wrong with that.
White nationalist blogger Paul Ray Ramsey[1]

The 2016 Republican National Convention (July 18–21, 2016) was held in July 2016, in which Republican delegates chose the party's nominees for President of the United States and Vice President of the United States (Donald Trump and Mike "Consider a Lobotomy Before Engaging in Sodomy" Pence respectively). The event was held in Cleveland, Ohio.[2] In addition to determining the party's national ticket,Wikipedia the convention ratified the party platform.


On July 17, 2016, the Republican National Convention announced that their themes were going to be themed around "Make America ___ Again": "Make America Safe Again" (Monday), "Make America Work Again" (Tuesday), "Make America First Again" (Wednesday), and – to court the militaristic Buddhist vote – "Make America One Again" (Thursday).[3] However, it has been noted that on many of these events, it's been difficult for the speakers to focus on the topic at hand: this is likely in part due to the fact that, frankly, most people in the GOP don't have a fucking clue what Trump stands for.[4]

Throughout the RNC, there was a notable absence of former GOP Presidential Nominees (with the notable exception of Bob Dole) – many of whom jumped on the #NeverTrump bandwagon[5] – and the first evening "began with a last-ditch effort by the anti-Trump Republicans to force a voice vote to call for releasing delegates, which resulted in competing factions yelling at each other on the floor", and was dominated by reality TV stars and faded actors, as opposed to the usual lawmakers and past GOP nominees.[6]


Killary Klinton, servant of Lucifer, seen here as a loyal member of Boko Haram.
Our Convention occurs at a moment of crisis for our nation. The attacks on our police, and the terrorism in our cities, threaten our very way of life. Any politician who does not grasp this danger is not fit to lead our country. ... This is the legacy of Hillary Clinton: death, destruction and weakness.
—Donald Trump[7]
The party at times seemed unified only around a shared determination to imprison the former secretary of state.
The New York Times[8]

Although the theme of the first night – "Make America Safe Again" was supposedly about safety and national security, the GOP press release showed what the line of attack really was going to be:

From attacks on our own soil and overseas to the tragedy in Benghazi, the policies of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton have left us vulnerable. Our immigration system is broken, leaving our country open to security threats and the negative consequences of illegal immigration. A Donald Trump administration will listen to and learn from our nation's heroes who have put themselves in harm's way and pursue a national security strategy and foreign policy that will strengthen our military and make America safe again.[3]

Often, the RNC was dominated more by anti-Clinton furore than pro-Trump fervor, with Clinton's name being mentioned more times than Trump's throughout the RNC.[9] Although many have put the vitriol directed at her down to the fact that she is a woman or due to a long-term attack on Clinton by the media due to her time in the public life,[10] but the reality may be simpler than that: Effectively, unifying against a common enemy (Clinton) is the GOP's best chance at survival, being bitterly torn apart by the idiocy known as Trump.[9]

The damn crooked American media unanimously condemned the festering hatred for Hillary at the RNC,[11] and even Fox News admitted that the attacks on Hillary may have been a tad over the top, and that screeching for Clinton to be locked up may give off a bad image. Perhaps.[12][13]

Repeating earlier-repudiated claims of Clinton's culpability of the Benghazi attacks, Trump's Republican Party has been accused of exploiting genuine emotions of grief from the loves ones who lost their lives in the attacks:[14]

As the Daily Beast's Mike Tomasky asked, how many parents of the 241 US marines killed in a terrorist attack in Beirut in 1983 were guest speakers at the Democratic convention in 1984? No doubt there would have been mothers and fathers ready to blame Ronald Reagan personally for their bereavement. But to use that grief would have felt too much like exploitation.

Nor did Democrats invite the families of US soldiers slain in the Iraq war on stage in 2004, even though they would have had every right to blame George W Bush as he sought re-election. Republicans would have accused their opponents of contemptible shroud-waving if they had.

One has to go back to Richard Nixon's deployment of the families of prisoners of war and US soldiers missing in action in Vietnam to find a similar act of exploitation. But Trump's move felt cruder.[14]

On day two, echoing the "Crooked Hillary" characterization of Hillary Clinton which Donald Trump so far has been able to project, speaker after speaker on the first day of the RNC touched on the same themes, again and again and again: Clinton is a liar and a crook who perceives herself to be above the law, that she is corrupt, and that she is tainted by a string of real and imagined scandals dating back 25 years. Chris Christie addressed the hall and asked the audience to be Clinton's "jury" amidst chants of "lock her up, lock her up", accusing Clinton of being an apologist for Boko Haram to a cry of "guilty" from the floor. Images of Clinton in an orange jumpsuit and behind bars were also peppered around Cleveland town, as well as posters of "Hillary for Prison".[15] Ben Carson went one step further, unironically tying Clinton in with Luciferno, we're not making this up[16] – and senior Trump adviser Al BaldasaroWikipedia suggested that Clinton "should be put in the firing line and shot for treason", a statement he has refused to apologise for.[17][18]

In order to deflect attention from Trump's misogyny and alleged sexual assault, the RNC co-chair offered a tu quoque at Clinton – Bill Clinton, that is – accusing him of sexual assault.[19] Trump has done the same previously, and some have accused the Trump campaign of purposefully confusing the Monica Lewinsky case with sexual assault as well.[20][21] Alex Jones decided to chip in here too, offering T-Shirts claiming Bill Clinton is a rapist, designed by Infowars' Roger Stone.[22]

Make America Safe Again[edit]

On the first day of the convention, Trump appeared to be the leader of some form of personality cult: he arrived on a darkened stage to Queen's "We Are The Champions"[6] – which prompted Queen's second complaint to Trump's campaign in two months about unauthorized usage of their song, as well as many commentators noting the irony of anti-LGBT Republicans using the songs from Freddie MercuryWikipedia, a gay man who died from HIV/AIDS complications.[23] This is not the first time this occurred with Trump, as Ivanka Trump's use of the Beatles' song "Here Comes the Sun" prompted an angry response from the estate of George Harrison.[24] Sadly, there's not really much they can do about it.[25]

The slogan "Make America Safe Again" – with the implication that there was "a golden age of peace to which we might return" – was used for the first day of the RNC conference. On this day, a number of anti-Clinton speeches and talk of "illegal aliens" killing ordinary Americans and then taking their jobs, and a moment of silence was given for the assassinated police officers in Baton Rouge[26] – whilst at the same time, African-American speakers bitterly denounced the Black Lives Matter movement.[27] Rudy Giuliani gave one of the most fiery speeches of the night, saying that "When [law enforcement] come to save your life, they don't ask if you are black or white. They just come to save you!";[28] i.e. completely in denial of the disproportionate number of black people killed by police in comparison to whites.

Alongside the Clinton-bashing and plagiarism controversy, Trump promised to protect veterans and strengthen the US military.[6] Trump has made the Iraq War a key cornerstone in this speech; whilst liberals may view this as a stopped clock moment or indicative of old-school anti-interventionalism, Trump's position on Iraq is a lot more nuanced than he would have us believe: Trump's running mate voted in favour of the Iraq War at the time,[29] and Trump appeared to be in favour of intervention in 2002.[30] However, as Trump had financial interests in the region, it's possible that Trump was either lying here, or changed his mind later in life.[31]

Melania Trump plagiarism controversy[edit]

Nothing to see here, folks…
Michelle Obama, the plagiarized version (left); Michelle Obama, the real one (right)
Melania Trump denies ripping off Michelle Obama speech, as that's not in her nature as a proud black woman.
Have I Got News For You?[32]

On July 18, 2016, Donald Trump's (current) wife gave a speech on the first day of the 2016 Republican National Convention to talk about why the Donald would be the racially superior United States presidential candidate. The speech contained a paragraph that was pretty much identical to a paragraph of Michelle Obama's speech at the 2008 Democratic National Convention.[33][34][35] Following Trump's speech, various media outlets reported the similarities, stating that Trump's speech was "awkward", "embarrassing" and "an act of plagiarism";[36][37] however, the Trump campaign denied for 24 hours that these remarks were plagiarized.

Speakers Darryl GlennWikipedia and Tom Cotton were also accused of plagiarism at the convention[38] – these allegations were not widely spread due to the Melania Trump controversy. Trump Jr. was also accused of plagiarism from an American Conservative article in Day 2 of the convention.[39][40]

Various media outlets also suggested that members of Donald Trump's presidential campaign should respond to the accusations, which they did a few hours after the speech in the form of the following statement by the campaign's Senior Communications Advisor Jason Miller:

In writing her beautiful speech, Melania's team of writers took notes on her life's inspirations, and in some instances included fragments that reflected her own thinking. Melania's immigrant experience and love for America shone through in her speech, which made it such a success.[41]

Reince Priebus, chairman of the Republican National Committee, described the speech as "inspirational" but said if plagiarism were found, he thought "it certainly seems reasonable" to fire the person who wrote the speech,[42] and Melania's speechwriter has officially come forward to apologize for the plagiarism.[43] It had previously been alleged by The New York Times that, whilst a professional speechwriter was used for Melania's speech, Melania was not happy with the draft she was given and decided to re-write a new version – with Trump's version containing the plagiarism, which was unchecked by any official speechwriters.[44]

Paul Manafort, Donald Trump's campaign chairman, called it a "great speech" and said "obviously Michelle Obama feels very similar sentiments toward her family". He later said "to think that she would be cribbing Michelle Obama's words is crazy", adding "This is once again an example of when a woman threatens Hillary Clinton, she seeks out to demean her and take her down. It's not going to work against Melania Trump"[41] – quite what that has to do with the allegations of plagiarism is anybody's guess. The controversy led to the hashtag #famousMelaniaTrumpQuotes being promoted on Twitter, with hilarious results.[45][46][47]

Sean Spicer, director of communications for the Republican National Committee and professional Brony, defended the speech by saying that similar statements have existed before her speech such as quotes by John Legend, Kid Rock, and Twilight Sparkle from My Little Pony.[48] Legend himself responded to Spicer on Twitter by tweeting "I would very much like to be excluded from this narrative".[49][50] Several pundits from conservative media outlets (Fox News in particular) attempted to justify the speech Trump gave, saying among other things: this actually applied to Trump, Obama was lying about it! (in 2008);[51] "nobody owns" the words she used[52] – true, but when the Donald has criticized others for plagiarism in the past,[53] you think his campaign may be more vigilant; and – perhaps most ironically – that speaking in a foreign language is hard.[54] Alternatively, we could go down the neo-Nazi route: The Daily Stormer and other such outfits blamed the controversy on the "dirty kike media", and Don Black claimed that the controversy was designed to help Clinton, because Obama's black.[1] Yup, totally makes sense...

Before delivering the speech, Trump had told NBC News' Matt LauerWikipedia that she and a speechwriter had been "working on the speech" for the past "five to six weeks". In that same NBC News interview Trump also stated that she had "read it once over" and that she "wrote it with as little help as possible".[55][56] David Lauter from the Los Angeles Times stated that while these allegations are unlikely to cost Trump votes, the distraction is unhelpful, referring to it as a "lost opportunity" for the campaign.[57]

Since the potential First Lady has yet to repudiate her plagiarism personally, Laura BenantiWikipedia decided to issue an apology on her behalf:[58]

My fellow Americans. [Pauses to pose for the camera amidst cheers and applause] This is truly the best of times, it is the worst of times. I did not plagiarize my speech last night. I would never do such a thing. I would not, could not with a goat. [Laughter and applause] I would not, could not on a boat. That is because I learned honesty during my humble upbringing: in West Philadelphia, born and raised – [Cheers and applause] Thank you! – and on the playground is where I spent most of my days. So, to those who say I stole my speech, I say give me a break. Give me a break. Break me off a piece of that Kit Kat bar. [Cheers and applause] They may be able to take our, lives, but they will never take our... [Squints at teleprompter] freedom? [Cheers and applause]

I am mad as hell, and I am not going to take it anymore. You gotta fight for your right to party. [Cheers and applause] Boom goes the dynamite, hakuna matata. Bada ba da da, I'm loving it.[58][59]

Purposeful troll?[edit]

You know, the president told me to stop whining, but I really have to say, the media is even more biased this year than ever before — ever. You want the proof? Michelle Obama gives a speech and everyone loves it — it’s fantastic. They think she’s absolutely great. My wife, Melania, gives the exact same speech — and people get on her case.
—Donald Trump, roasting his wife at the 71st Al Smith dinnerWikipedia in New York[60]

There are also some conspiracy theories circling around that this plagiarism controversy was, in fact, constructed entirely by Donald Trump on order to gain attention for himself and gain free airtime.[38] Some commentators also wondered whether Trump had referenced Rick Astley's song "Never Gonna Give You Up", with the lines "He will never, ever give up" ("never gonna give you up") and "he will never, ever let you down" ("never gonna let you down"); essentially, Melania's scriptwriters were quite literally accused of Rickrolling her.[61][62][63]

Make America Work Again[edit]

"Make America Work Again" night showing our biggest growth industry is fear.
—Sarah Kendzior[64]
Will the plagiarism never cease?!

Despite the theme of "Make America Work Again" being centred around jobs, for the first hour of the day there was no mention of jobs at all, with continued mention of Benghazi and terrorism dominating the day.[65] The few speakers who actually mentioned jobs were business associates of Trump. They included Dana White, president of the UFC, the until-now-unknown Andy Wist, and Kerry Woolard, general manager of Trump Winery.[39][66] Paul Ryan also delivered his "party unity" speech – despite having a long history of disagreeing with Trump – rape accusations against Bill Clinton were brought up again and "Muslims for Trump" also offered a prayer for Trump.[39][No, not The Onion]

Make America First Again[edit]

Just in case there weren't enough Nazi comparisons at an "America First" event organized by Trump, Frau Ingraham steps onto the stage...[67]
For more information, see: Britain First
If Donald Trump wants to make America great again, he should start by actually making things in America.
Hillary Clinton.[68]

In his speech on July 20 outlining his foreign policy goals, Donald Trump chose to brand his xenophobic and isolationist foreign policy with the noxious slogan "America First", the name of the anti-Semitic national organizationWikipedia that urged the United States to appease Hitler.[69]

"America First" was the motto of Nazi-friendly Americans in the 1930s, and Trump has more than just a catchphrase in common with them. Trump defines the "America" he wants to put "first" by saying who does not properly belong in it. That definition does not include certain people of foreign descent born in the United States, who are to him still foreigners and whom he labels accordingly ... It does not include Muslim residents, whom he would "certainly" and "absolutely" force to register their presence with the U.S. government (asked how this proposed policy differs from Nazi laws regarding Jews, Trump replied, "You tell me").

Trump wants his exclusionary America to cower behind walls. He would erect metaphorical barriers against immigrants (excluding Muslims from entry to the United States until they can be "properly and perfectly" screened) and trade. And of course, he would build a literal wall along the Mexican border. None of which is to say Trump's isolated America would decline to fight wars: Trump would increase bombing of the Middle East and fight "fast and ... furious for a short period of time" against the terrorist enemy.

This is what Trump's "America First" means: a white America ... living behind higher walls and screens, lashing out to prove its strength and then retreating again — not a government suspiciously tolerant of foreign threats. And this is also largely what "America First" has historically meant.[70]

During the early 1930s, William Randolph HearstWikipedia touted the "America First" slogan against FDR, accusing the New Deal of being a secret Bolshevik plot which was "more communistic than the communists", contrasting this to Hitler's fascism, which Hearst argued has won a victory for "liberty-loving people" in defeating the Red Menace. Alongside various communists, anti-interventionists and pacifists, the America First Committee became the most prominent opponents to FDR's rule.[70]

Just as Donald Trump believes that there are a few Muslims who may, may be acceptable to have in the US, Charles LindberghWikipedia – who received a medal from Herman GoeringWikipedia "in the name of the Führer" – believed that there were "a few Jews of the right type" who may be suited to life in the USA. As with the Trump campaign, not all the America First supporters were as openly offensive as their leaders, but as with the Trump campaign many decent people stayed silent, and did not repudiate their fascist-sympathizing leaders.[70] And as Donald Trump has advanced the idea of the "silent majority" supporting his views (although Trump's supporters are generally far from silent, and have yet to be in the majority nationwide), Lindbergh advanced the idea that the vast majority of Americans were on his side, but that their opinions were drowned out by the powerful voices of the Jewish-dominated, pro-interventionist press.[71]

And just in case you think that these views were in the past: white nationalist tweets from @vdare were displayed prominently at the GOP convention,[72] and here is Donald Trump's arch-nemesis unknown supporter KKK endorser, "Dr." David Duke:

I was the first major candidate in modern times to promote the term and policy of "America First". ... we must protect American jobs and businesses. We must enforce antitrust lawsWikipedia that break up the anti-American huge media conglomerates. The New York Times admitted that my platform became the GOP mainstream, and propelled Republicans to control of Congress. ... I'm overjoyed to see Donald Trump and most Americans embrace most of the issues that I've championed for years. My slogan remains "America First", I've always said equal rights for all, special interests for none.[73]

Now compare these to Trump's own comments:

My foreign policy will always put the interests of the American people and American security above all else. That will be the foundation of every single decision that I will make. 'America First' will be the major and overriding theme of my administration.[74]

Trump is going with the Third Reich's "worker's party" thing too,[75] and has reportedly threatened to sue Vanity Fair over allegations of keeping copies of Hitler's speeches by his bedside.[76]

Ted Cruz speech[edit]

In the third night of the convention, Ted Cruz – who was notable in appearing at the RNC, when other opponents of Trump such as John KasichWikipedia boycotted the event – gave a speech in which he declined to endorse Trump for president, offering congratulations for Trump winning the nomination before going on and urging listeners to "vote your conscience, vote for candidates up and down the ticket who you trust to defend our freedom and to be faithful to the Constitution".[77][78] The best thing about this comment is that he allowed Trump voters to jump to the conclusion that voting for Trump was voting against their conscience: "exactly the kind of cunning and underhanded move one would expect from a time traveling serial killer".[79]

Pro-Trump delegates were enraged at Cruz's speech, shouting him down and booing him off the stage,[80] in what was described by The New York Times as "the most electric moment of the convention."[77] Convention security personnel and Cruz advisor Ken CuccinelliWikipedia escorted Cruz's wife HeidiWikipedia out of the hall, fearing for her safety.[77][80] Cruz's exit from the stage was overshadowed by the arrival of The Donald himself, and the cameras zoomed away from Cruz, not bothering to show Cruz's scuttling off stage.[78] Rather bizarrely, Trump later tweeted that he knew what Cruz was going to say two hours earlier on, but that he allowed Cruz to speak because: "No big deal!"[81][82]

The bitter roundelay between the men started earlier in the day. As Ted Cruz had a campaign-style rally in Cleveland, with 2020 wafting in the air, Donald Trump's plane flew over and drowned Cruz out. [...] But this evening, the boos were going in the opposite direction.

At first, the crowd was enthusiastic about Cruz. But soon Cruz began to seem like the guy who comes to your book party and starts brandishing his own book. When he had been speaking for quite a while without endorsing the nominee, only perfunctorily congratulating him on winning the nomination, and when he advised everyone to vote "your conscience" up and down the ticket, the crowd turned ugly.

Suddenly Trump, certainly irritated at not hearing the glorious sound of his own name in an elongated address by a "loser," entered the arena. He was once more soaring in, drowning Cruz out.

All eyes went to Trump as they dimmed the lights on the stage and the nominee regally walked in, a procession of one, to sit with his family in his stadium box with gold-and-black striped railings. The crowd got even more feral toward the former rival suddenly trapped onstage, looking like he didn't know how to finish and finally slinking off.

Delegates near me started booing and jumping up and pointing at Cruz and screaming, "Trump, Trump Trump!" Others shouted "He's full of baloney!" and taunts pocked with "idiot" and "moron."

Cruz finally escaped with his wife, Heidi, after she was escorted off the floor as a delegate shame-shame-shaming her with the name of her former employer: "Goldman Sachs!"

Asked about the kerfuffle, Marion Ashley, an alternate delegate from California, summed it up to The Times' Sam Purdy this way: "Trump used 'Lyin' Ted.' It looked like he proved Trump right."[78]

NATO commitments[edit]

Speaking to The New York Times, Trump reiterated his earlier position that the United States would only come to the aid of NATO allies so long as "they fulfill their obligations to us", and praised Islamic extremist Sultan Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's dealing with those damn unruly coup plotters![83][84]

Make America One Again[edit]

Ivanka Trump speech[edit]

—Ivanka Trump[85]

Ivanka Trump made a speech which discussed issues such as the gender pay gap and women's equality, and many commentators have noticed how Ivanka's speeches bore a lot of similarities to those of Donald Trump's opponent, Hillary Clinton;[86] The Guardian, The Washington Post, the New York magazine and Slate all noted that Ivanka's espoused policies put her closer to Clinton than Donald Trump.[87]

Why is Ivanka trying to pass off her caveman dad as a paragon of gender equality? Clearly to make an appeal to the women he's losing so badly. But what does she take America for? Does she really believe she can just invent a policy position that bears no relationship to her father's rhetorical record or stated policy interests? [...] The Republican platform does not include any mention of child care, day care, early education, equal pay, or paid leave, though it does strongly oppose gay marriage, single parenthood, cohabitation, abortion, and every one of the developments in marriage and economic patterns that have changed the world for women in the way that Ivanka Trump correctly described.

No, if Ivanka believes we need to alter our social and economic policies to better reflect the lived realities of today’s women and men, their economic needs and familial responsibilities, then she would do better to visit with the Democrats in Philadelphia next week.[88]

She described Trump the "messenger of the people" and the "people's candidate",[89] portrayed Donald as "color-blind and gender-neutral" and tried to portray him as a feminist figure, with talk of accessible childcare and reforming labor laws.[90] This speech touched on issues usually touted by the Democrats, and was seen as an appeal not only to female voters but also to millennials,[91] and a bridge across partisan lines, especially with lines such as "Like many of my fellow millennials, I do not consider myself categorically Republican or Democrat."[92] This could be crucial, as 17% of millennials have a favorable opinion of Donald Trump, compared to a 37% favorable for Hillary Clinton.[93]

Donald Trump speech[edit]

Stage design courtesy of George Orwell and Albert SpeerWikipedia

Donald Trump's final speech touched a dark and authoritarian tone, with a promise to committing to "law and order"; this was an attempt to unify the deeply divided party, touching on common themes throughout the convention and campaign.[94] He also launched an appeal to Bernie Sanders supporters who were opposed to free trade, saying that:

I have seen firsthand how the system is rigged against our citizens just like it was rigged against Bernie Sanders. He never had a chance, never had a chance. But his supporters will join our movement because we will fix his biggest single issue – trade deals that stripped our country of its jobs and stripped us of our wealth as a country.[95]

This is wishful thinking on Trump's part; recent polls suggest that support for Clinton from Sanders supporters is at 90%.[96] However, Trump was preaching to the already converted – no personal endearing anecdotes about receiving a small loan of a million dollars were given, no concessions were given to those still on the fence about Trump, and overall most scriptwriters were stupefied that Trump would miss such a golden opportunity.[97]

The speech also blamed recent unrest – from the shooting of police to international terrorism – solely on Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. He also promised to "do everything in my power to protect our LGBTQ citizens from the violence and oppression of a hateful foreign ideology",[98] whilst promoting a hateful domestic attitude towards gay people by a recent hard right shift in the GOP platform: all positive amendments to the LGBT community were removed by delegates -- with even mentions of gay people being targets of ISIL removed -- as well as a commitment to overturning the Supreme Court commission to legalise same-sex marriage, supporting the appointment of judges who espouse "traditional family values", legalize reparative therapy, support laws which allow businesses to discriminate against LGBT customers and supports laws which require transgender people to go to the bathrooms which correspond to the gender on their birth certificate.[99][100]

Peter Thiel's speech vs. Republican reality on LGBT people[edit]

Openly-gay tech entrepeneur and PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel made GOP history in his speech which – despite the anti-gay positions of the party (who make Trump look moderate in comparison) and the rightward shift in the GOP's LGBT policies[99] – said that he was "proud to be gay" despite the party's official policy on LGBT rights, making him the first person to publicly announce to the GOP convention that he is gay.[101] Although the crowd cheered at this point – with those who disagreed with Thiel deciding to keep quiet – the GOP crowd was certainly not particulary GOP-friendly: indeed, Thiel did not even finish the first paragraph of his speech before a delegate heckled him with an anti-gay slur.[102]

Thiel's comments were made in the context of the GOP attempting to leave the culture wars alone and a throwaway comment about Thiel not caring about transgender bathroom bills[103] – something the GOP definitely, definitely care about.[104]

As an openly-gay libertarian, Thiel's support for same-sex marriage puts him at odds with the GOP platform, which Log Cabin Republicans suggest was the most homophobic in the party's 162-year-long history; Trump only mentioned protecting LGBT rights against Da'esh, not mentioning hatred from his fellow Americans – including his own supporters.[105] Despite all this homophobia swirling around, some guys over in Cleveland were having a hell of a time with male escorts – much more than with female escorts – with some escorts making more than 8 times more in 5 days than they usually would make in a week.[106]

Demonstrations and protest planning[edit]

The Los Angeles Times wrote at the end of March 2016 that fears of a turbulent and volatile convention atmosphere were heightened because of a variety of factors: "a city scarred by controversial police shootings and simmering with racial tension; a candidate [Trump] who has threatened that his supporters will riot if he comes with the most delegates but leaves without the nomination; and a police force with a reputation for brutality."[107] Concerns specifically focused on the ability of the Cleveland Police Department to handle protests in the wake of the Tamir RiceWikipedia and Michael BreloWikipedia cases, and a 2014 Department of Justice investigation that criticized the police department had a pattern or practice of using "unreasonable and unnecessary force".[107] In May 2016, the American Civil Liberties Union threatened to file a lawsuit on behalf of two activist groups, Citizens for Trump and a progressive group called Organize Ohio, asserting that protesters were being inhibited in their attempts to organize effectively by the city's delay in granting permits.[108] As of May 19, six groups had filed for permits, but none had been granted. Cleveland stalled on approving and making public the demonstration applications it received, while Philadelphia (hosting the 2016 Democratic National Convention) had already granted an application.[109] The ACLU sued the city in federal district courtWikipedia on June 14, 2016.[110] As of May 20, 2016, groups that have filed for protest permits have included the AIDS Healthcare Foundation;Wikipedia Global Zero;Wikipedia Organize Ohio, a group of progressive activists; the Citizens for Trump/Our Votes Matter March; Coalition to March on the RNC and Dump Trump; Stand Together Against Trump, an anti-Donald Trump group; People's Fightback Center/March Against Racism; and Created Equal, an anti-abortion group. A pro-Trump group, Trump March RNC, withdrew its application after Trump became the presumptive nominee.[111]

Adding to the concerns of violence was the state's open-carry laws, which allowed any of the guests at Trump's rally to openly carry firearms in the streets surrounding the RNC area. The law enforcement implored attendees to leave their guns at home, especially after the Baton Rouge shootings. Many made comparisons to the civil unrest of the 1960s, and organizers and law enforcement agencies undertook steps to ensure that the protests did not reach the level of chaos seen at the 1968 Convention in Chicago.[112][113]

On July 18, the convention's first day, dueling anti-Trump and pro-Trump demonstrations took place at various places in Cleveland, attracting several hundred demonstrators each. The demonstrations were peaceful,[114] with just two reported arrests.[115] The pro-Trump rally – dubbed the "America First Unity Rally" – organised by Citizens for Trump, featured Alex Jones and Roger StoneWikipedia. Although not officially endorsed by Trump, many pro-Trump delegates such as Citizens for Trump, Students for Trump and Bikers for Trump – many of whom openly carried weapons despite police advice not to do so, because blue lives matter, amirite?[116] Alex Jones also received "special guest" status at the actual RNC itself, which shows just what a shitstorm the GOP has become now.[117]

On July 19, the convention's second day, peaceful protests continued. Demonstrators included those from groups such as the antiwar organization Code PinkWikipedia and from the West Ohio Minutemen, a militia group.[118] Three people were arrested for criminal mischief for climbing flag poles and hanging a banner at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, bringing the total number of convention-related arrests to five.[115][118] A protestor from Code Pink who brandished an anti-racist, anti-bigotry placard was forced to wear a burqa had their head smothered by an American flag and pulled away for such indendiary activism, because when freedom calls...[119]

A brief scuffle between supporters of pro-Trump conspiracy theorist Alex Jones and anti-Nazi/anti-Trump protesters was quickly broken up by police.[118][120] Members of the Ku Klux Klan, Black Lives Matter and the Westboro Baptist Church also ended up throwing urine at each other, as you do,[121] and Cenk Uygur got involved in a shoutoff with Alex Jones.[122][123]



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