Posted by: George | July 22, 2016

The Liberal RNC?

By most accounts, the Republican National Convention was a train wreck.

On the first day alone, six or seven PR disasters emerged, each of which could have dominated an entire news cycle. The disaster that rose to the top was Melania Trump’s plagiarism of Michelle Obama’s speech. Steve King’s incredibly racist comments about how all the great innovations of civilization came from Western countries (that is, white people) hardly received a sleepy nod.

Then, there was a parade, a carnival, of lukewarm endorsements (Nikki Haley said she would not vote for Hillary Clinton) or non-endorsements (Ted Cruz said to vote your conscience). It would be hard to catalog all the wacko comments from surrogates and delegates.

Trump’s acceptance speech sounded like a nostalgic return to Nixonian law and order.

And yet, within this broader context of incompetence and nonsense, this iteration of the RNC has been one of the most liberal ever.

Peter Thiel, entrepreneur and space cadet, a guy who wants to create seascape cities that can be libertarian paradises, said, “I am proud to be gay.” He received a hearty applause.

Ivanka Trump, as she introduced her father, talked about the issues working women face. She argued for affordable childcare, equal pay for women, and the need to protect mothers in the workplace.

Then, Donald—The Donald—spoke about the attack on LGBTQ people in Orlando and said he was going to protect them. This, too, received an enthusiastic round of applause. Donald said the he was glad they applauded that line.

It was only twelve years ago that the Republican party, under the leadership of Carl Rove, used gay marriage as a wedge issue.

Just for the record, I am not voting for Trump. I would not even vote for Ivanka, although she might just be a closet progressive. I am saying, however, that this RNC has an odd mix of retrograde conservative issues, like its take on immigration (Trump is still going to build a wall), and liberal values.

It’s a little confusing. Is it encouraging? I’m not ready to say that yet, but it’s confusing in a way that is maybe, just maybe, encouraging.

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