It comes as no surprise that there were sharply divided opinions about the Republican convention. Dan Rather implied that the violence we’ve seen on the streets of Portland, Seattle, Minneapolis, Baltimore, St. Louis and other Democratically controlled cities has been caused by the president. “Every example of violence Donald Trump decries,” Dan points out, “has happened on his watch. Under his leadership. During his presidency.”

Some liberals were outraged that the president and first lady of the United States delivered their remarks from the White House. “America,” Pete Buttigieg points out “we’re paying for a campaign commercial in a house we own for a man most Americans didn’t vote for.” Doug Emhoff echoed and amplified Pete’s objection thus: “Let’s be clear: it is wrong and illegal to use federal property and taxpayer resources for partisan campaigning.” Doug speaks with the authority of a lawyer and the urgency of Kamala Harris’ husband. Some unidentified Republican associated with the Lincoln Project needs to buy himself an asbestos collar: “My blood is boiling over political banners at the White House. Awful. Just awful.”

Claire McCaskill, a senator from Missouri until Missouri’s voters ejected her from office in 2018 has hard words. “The Republican convention is designed for one purpose,” she tells us, “to soothe Donald Trump’s ego. To make him feel good. But it’s not supposed to be about him – it’s supposed to be about us. The people.”

A mob of left-lurching actors felt compelled to share their sneers. Rob Reiner, delivered a prompt judgement on Monday. Rob asked if anyone else is “throwing up right now?” Ethan Embry said me too. Jon Cryer, called the RNC “stomach churning.” Alec Baldwin, Dave Bautista and Mia Farrow mocked Mark and Patty McCloskey, the St. Louis couple who displayed firearms to defend their home against protestors. Seinfeld star Jason Alexander mocked Kimberly Guilfoyle’s impassioned speech. Josh Charles quipped that Borat star Sacha Baron Cohen should produce the RNC. Lori Petty called the president “completely insane, Comedian Wanda Sykes quipped “I don’t have enough weed to watch this foolishness.” Kathy Griffin mocked the president for inviting former hostages to speak during the convention.

The positive reactions to the GOP’s four days of celebration were at least as vehement as the critics. Monica Showalter, a conservative columnist and Trumpophiliac, is very pleased by what she describes as the “ragecat fury” on display. She saw “a positive anger, one that explicitly targeted the left and all its lies, all its incredible miasmas of power.”

Michael Reagan thought the convention was “a fast-moving, upbeat circus compared to the Democrats’ draggy snooze-fest, which looked like it was shot in an airplane hangar and felt like a Zoom meeting of angry politicians and spoiled Hollywood celebrities.”

Like Reagan only far harsher, Patricia McCarthy an American Thinker columnist, compared the two conventions. “The difference in tone between the Democrat and Republican conventions,” she writes, “could not be more distinct. The four days of the Democrat infomercial were characterized by misery and anger. Not one of the Democrat speakers even smiled. They made it clear, each and every one of them, that they hate this country.”

Tyler O’Neil, author of Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center, wrote about all four days, capping his work with extravagant praise. “The Republican National Convention (RNC) was absolutely incredible, especially after the Democrats’ Gaslighting America Telethon. Each night had inspiring moments, but Thursday closed out the convention with Ann Dorn (widow of David Dorn), Alice Marie Johnson, and Stacia Brightmon, a formerly homeless mother who found her way to a career thanks to an apprenticeship program championed by President Donald Trump. Trump himself closed out the night with a mammoth speech on the gorgeous White House South Lawn.”

Conrad Black, an old friend of the president and zealous Trumpophiliac, wrote at length about the Democratic and Republican conventions. “Donald Trump.” he argued, “demonstrated again his talents as a showman; he actually turned a virtual convention to advantage: an extraordinarily interesting group of speakers succeeded each other with brief and highly informative scripts. No time was wasted with windy ex officio speeches, floor demonstrations, and public tumult, as occurs in regular conventions. Most of the speakers told interesting and sometimes heartrending stories about themselves and each was targeted precisely at a block of voters.”

I’ve never watched a political convention all the way through, and you can be sure that there’s no way I’d sit still for 70 minutes of Donald Trump. Reading other observer’s descriptions and watching some video tapes confirmed much of the praise. The First Lady supplied the empathy which her husband is unfit to express. Ann Dorn, widow of a murdered police captain (retired) must have inspired a great deal of empathic feeling in the millions who watched her. Her sincerity, grief, and composure was expressed with moving dignity. Other individual speakers attested to Trump’s capacity for feeling.

Charles Chamberlain, chair of the far-far left Democracy for America circus sent me an e-mail about the convention in the hope that I might send DFA some money. I quote the relevant passage;

“John, Have you been watching the Republican National Convention? I have. I kind of hope you haven’t; it’s hard to stomach.
This week I have seen a frightening amount of hate and vitriol coming from the people the Republican party has chosen to present to the rest of the country — the masks are off, both figuratively and literally. Every single moment of this hate-dominated convention is a stark reminder of just how crucial it is that we do everything we can to win this election. Our democracy is at stake.”

I sent no money.

John Frary of Farmington, the GOP candidate for U.S. Congress in 2008, is a retired history professor, an emeritus Board Member of Maine Taxpayers United, a Maine Citizen’s Coalition Board member, and publisher of He can be reached at [email protected]

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