Lessons for Democrats from the RNC

RNC 2016The most important takeaway is that the GOP is now Donald Trump’s party. This may seem minor, but it’s critical to understanding what will be necessary for the upcoming general election cycle: the rules are different.

You may have noticed that the mainstream media referred to the Republican National Convention as “Donald Trump’s Convention” instead of “The Republican Convention” or “The RNC Convention.” Next week is not “Hillary Clinton’s Convention” — it is “The Democratic National Convention.” No convention has ever before been personalized this way. The importance relates to how the cycle will be covered, and intimates that Donald will continue to be covered differently from anyone ever.

Note that the first night of the convention, while the mother of a soldier lost in Benghazi was speaking, Donald called into Fox, and they preempted her speech to speak with him.

Zachary Taylor, People's Candidate for President and Millard Fillmore, Whig Candidate for Vice-President (N. Currier, June 1848)

Zachary Taylor and Millard Fillmore, Whig Candidates for for President and Vice President, respectively. (N. Currier, June 1848)

A cautionary tale for the party comes from more than 150 years ago. Read about Zachary Taylor. Seriously, read the link. Read it now. It’s really important.

Welcome back. Now you know the future.

Plagiarism is not a big deal to the Trump campaign.

I don’t blame Melania. She read off a teleprompter. She’s likely done very little, if any, public speaking and thus the speechwriters had nothing to work from relative to inclusions or tone.

But they could have Googled the speech, line by line, to check it. Plagiarism will get you tossed out of school: it’s a big deal. Intellectual property still matters.

The campaign is too green, too unprofessional to know any better. Then they spent 38 hours being unable to answer properly to the problem. Finally, they blamed an employee of the Trump organization.

If she was the one who wrote the speech, and she did it on company time, that’s an FEC violation. Campaigns cannot commingle monies or paid personnel between a company and the campaign, nor political offices and the campaign.

Speaking of breaking laws…

New Hampshire State Representative Al Baldasaro said in an interview that Hillary Clinton “should be put on the firing line and shot for treason.” The Secret Service is investigating. Baldasaro is a veterans’ adviser to Donald, who in no way distanced himself from the quote.

There was a lot of Hillary bashing at the RNC, and very little “Donald-is-good-because-XYZ” (except from his kids!!!) or “I support Donald because he stands for ABC.” The crowd in the arena, who are his voters, loved it.  Going forward, this means they’re for him, not his positions, nor his actions. It doesn’t matter to them, which makes our job that much harder.

Ted Cruz isn’t coming around.

Ted Cruz spoke, didn’t endorse, and was booed. More importantly, Ken Cuccinelli had to walk Heidi Cruz off the floor because she was in danger of being physically assaulted. Shows you what kind of people are Trump supporters.

Only 23 people were arrested.

There are 5,500 law enforcement types around the convention, but only 23 people were arrested. This compares to the 2000 Republican National Convention in Philadelphia where over 300 people were arrested. This is probably due to the huge security area around the arena keeping people far away from cameras.

What does this all mean?

First, the Democrats are not running against the Republicans; they are running against Zachary Taylor, and that didn’t work well for the good guys. (Except Millard Fillmore, who was a terrible president, but great in many other regards.)

It means every Jill Stein defection is a vote for Donald Trump.

It means they need to campaign differently up and down the ballot.

It means “I’m too busy” is not a valid excuse this September, October and November.

It means someone with no interest in running the country will end up running the country after having campaigned on no platform other than banning Muslims and building a wall.