In a lineup that showcased one flaccid RINO after another – the very people who exemplify and embody the anger that has led to the rise of Trump – I was surprised that Senator Thad Cochran, R-Miss. (F, 24%) wasn’t wheeled out to the podium.
Not a single movement conservative spoke tonight at this convention and most of the lineup consisted of the same old RINOs – from Chris Christie and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. (F 42%) to a group of Senate moderates. The entire night was devoid of any specific vision for how to create jobs, which was the advertised theme of the night, save for Donald Trump Jr’s decent and on-message speech. The messages were disjointed and focused either on Hillary Clinton (in the case of the RINO politicians) or Trump’s persona (in the case of his family and friends who spoke). Indeed, the only fresh blood on stage were Trump’s family and personal friends who are trying to convince undecided voters that Trump’s cult of personality alone will make America great again.
This is perhaps one of the lowest energy conventions of all time, as witnessed by the empty seats in the arena, even surpassing the banality of the 2012 and 1996 GOP conventions. The only real spirited speech of the night was from Chris Christie, but it was all about Hillary Clinton. Moreover, Christie himself is the embodiment of the problem with the GOP – he talks a big game but governed like a leftist and sided with liberals on almost every issue when it counted, from global warming and illegal immigration to Obamacare, and most other important economic and cultural issues.
Additionally, they had Senator Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va. (F, 31%) speak during the heart of prime time. Capito is a random RINO who has not lifted a finger to fight for us on a single issue, including the issue of coal. She voted for the budget bills that stripped all of the EPA policy riders. Capito is a pro-abortion senator from one of the most prolife states, a fitting distinction in a convention that has been extremely light on any agenda to stand up against the emboldened cultural Marxists except for parts of Ben Carson’s speech. To add insult to injury, Gov. Mary Fallin, who blocked a pro-life bill and anti-gender confusion bill in the most conservative state of Oklahoma, will speak prime time Thursday night. Social conservatives have no home in this party, to the extent fiscal conservatives can even salvage some crumbs.
The Trump campaign likes to assert that this is not just a campaign, but a movement. Well, a movement should have a cadre of leaders and foot soldiers, not just a one-man show. Where are these fresh faces challenging the establishment? Even if Trump were firmly grounded in principles, he still needs a party that will help promote a revolution or he needs to change the party itself. The people supporting him at a political level are clearly not attacking the problem; they are the problem. And the way he has conducted this convention, in conjunction with the RNC strong-arm tactics and speakers doesn’t inspire much confidence.
Just before Tuesday night’s program, it was reported that Florida Gov. Rick Scott, one of the most prominent GOP governors and one of the earliest Trump backers, trashed the new GOP platform on marriage. Taking away even the meaningless sandbox from conservatives, Governor Scott asserted that gay marriage is the law of the land because the Supreme Court “has already made a decision.” The constitutional illiteracy and the harm of this statement cannot be understated.
Consider the following thought: people like Governor Scott believe in Donald Trump to change course from the current path of destruction. Yet, even if Trump is as virtuous as his most optimistic supporters hope, the courts will render his presidency meaningless if we have the mentality that the courts make law and could redefine the building block of all civilization. Yet, this is what almost every individual showcased on the stage tonight believes either publicly or privately. They believe redefined marriage is the law of the land.
Trump or no Trump, this party is already rotten to the core with no signs of change. Which is why, whatever you choose to do in November, if you are not also working towards systemic solutions beyond this election to actually create a party and system of governance that will fight this despotism, it will be an exercise in futility.
Editor’s note: An earlier version of this piece contained a typo in Sen. Capito’s name. CR regrets the error.
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Daniel Horowitz is a senior editor of Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @RMConservative.