Episodic Drama of the Real Delegates of Cleveland


“Lock her up, lock her up, lock her up…” – RNC delegates

The 2016 Republican National Convention was made-for-reality-television drama of the first order: intrigue, conflict, innuendo, gossip, confessionals and tension, with all of the usual villains and heroes to keep everyone entertained and angry. This is Donald TRUMP’s contribution to American politics: the complete and final and total assimilation of reality TV into the political process. It’s been a long time coming, but now the dissolution of fact and fiction, real and imaginary are inextricably woven together into a perfectly seamless, blended entity: there is no any longer separation between that which is real and that which is not.

Seth Kaufer gives a thumbs down during Sen. Ted Cruz's speech on day three of the Republican National Convention, at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, July 20, 2016. Cruz spoke to mounting boos and chants of ?Keep your pledge!? as he declined to explicitly endorse Donald Trump. (Sam Hodgson/The New York Times)
(Sam Hodgson/The New York Times)

In TRUMP’s world, all is part of the SHOW: every action, every turn, every gesture, every message, every mishap, every controversy transformed into a new episode in the continuing drama. Even the now infamous Ted Cruz non-endorsement, which ordinarily would thoroughly embarrass any controlled candidate, was in fact a brilliantly executed setup that would rival even Shakespeare’s most intricate plots. By inviting Cruz to speak during a peak moment of prime time just before the acceptance speech of the Vice-Presidential nominee, precisely timed for TRUMP’s grand entrance into the convention hall, the Star of the Show was able to step on the roaring finale of the Cruz speech in order to pump up the boos and amplify the confusion into a hysterical moment of Republican unity and mob expression.

Delegates yell after the temporary chairman of the Republican National Convention announced that the convention would not hold a roll-call vote on the Rules Committee's report and rules changes and rejected the efforts of anti-Trump forces to hold such a vote at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S. July 18, 2016. REUTERS/Mark Kauzlarich
REUTERS/Mark Kauzlarich

No doubt the vast majority of RNC delegates (and many of the politicians and celebrities who spoke) are the same people who have been feeding for years on Bravo TV-style reality television and the soaps, where content, complexity, and reason are reduced to base emotion, evil backstabbing, raw hatred, cunning, suspicion and the law of the jungle. Take for example the delegate and ex-marine from New Hampshire calling for Hillary to be shot for treason; or Ben Carson’s reference to Hillary’s dance with Lucifer; or the woman who lost her son in the Benghazi attack and personally charged Hillary for murder; or Chris Christie’s prosecutorial indictment of Hillary driving the delegates to scream “guilty”: all intended to whip the crowd into a state of hysteria, a feeding frenzy, and a lust for blood that could very well spell the end of America’s sanity and survival should this sordid reality show turn into real reality in November.


As dark as the RNC narrative has regressed, it will surely get darker. The TRUMP Show is nothing short of an apocalyptic “joyride” into a deep abyss such as we have never before seen in American politics. I never dreamed we could sink lower than the Bush years, but there is a mortal threat that has paralyzed the Republican base, powered by the antics of pop celebrity culture, and should it spread, should this disease of the real go beyond the base of racists and the hateful, we are indeed sunk. We will need much more than Hillary, perhaps a super-Obama to lift us out of the madness that is now gripping America. Let us hope that the TRUMP Show is cancelled by the people rather than its contract renewed for another season.

Delegates shout "guilty" as New Jersey Governor Chris Christie speaks on the second day of the Republican National Convention at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland on July 19, 2016. The Republican Party formally nominated Donald Trump for president of the United States Tuesday, capping a roller-coaster campaign that saw the billionaire tycoon defeat 16 White House rivals. / AFP PHOTO / DOMINICK REUTERDOMINICK REUTER/AFP/Getty Images