On this, the third day of the Republican convention, we got to watch trump outsmart Ted Cruz in a truly masterful display of political manipulation. trump lured Cruz into a trap and stomped on him. Surely humiliation is all that Cruz got out of the day.
First, in the afternoon, somewhere away from the convention center in an outdoor venue, Cruz was holding a rally for his supporters. He was undoubtedly making this the first campaign stop in his bid for the nomination in 2020. The rally was disrupted by a low-flying 757. . .with the name trump on the side. trump’s arrival in Cleveland was perfectly timed to drown out Cruz for part of his rally. Maybe a coincidence but I find that hard to believe.
Second, Cruz was given a chance for a 22 minute speech, even though he had never promised to endorse trump. Cruz mentioned trump only once, congratulating him on winning the nomination. All the rest of the speech was pure campaigning for himself. The crowd was growing restless and even started chanting “We want trump.” Eventually the noise of the crowd was making it hard to hear Cruz and it turned to outright booing when he said, Vote your conscience.”
At that moment trump entered the hall, waving to the crowd and obviously enjoying the immediate shift from booing Cruz to cheering for trump. Cruz was left speaking to no one, his final words lost in the black hole of cheers for trump.
I watched in complete amazement. trump proved himself to be a dirty but effective street fighter. Not only did he humiliate Cruz but now the crowd was enlivened by anger.
Why would trump want to humiliate Cruz? Perhaps in part this was trump’s way of grabbing Cruz supporters for him. I suspect something else may have been a greater factor:there is just something in trump that loves the flavor of vengeance. He is a truly mean-spirited man toward any who do not submit to him. If he were to become president, we would see much worse.
Four quick observations on the first three days of the convention: One, it is clear that neither trump nor any of his supporters have any sense of what a policy is. they seem to assume a few cliches (e.g. build a wall) count as policies. Two, the incredible number of bald-faced lies is overwhelming (e.g. Hillary wants to open our borders). Three, it is amazing that the Republicans are fully committed to hating Hillary as much as they have hated Obama. Republicans in congress spent millions of tax-payer dollars trying without success to lay on her some sort of blame for the tragedy in Benghazi.But the people won’t accept that and want to condemn her anyway. Who cares what the truth is? And finally, number four, it is truly frightening — and reminiscent of Nazi Germany — how hungry the Republicans are for violence. Their chant against Hillary (“Lock her up”) echoes trump’s feeling that there is no limit to retaliation against anyone who gets in your way.
On another note, trump did something truly amazing in an interview with the New York times today. He said he wouldn’t automatically defend NATO nations if they were attacked by Russia. It would depend on whether, in his opinion, they were paying for their fair share of NATO expenses.His friend Putin must like what he is hearing.