For four very long nights, the country got an in-depth look at the lunacy that has become the Republican party. A list of crazy moments that doesn’t include anything Donald Trump said means it was truly a freak show for the ages. It was so insane that a list of 10 crazy moments became 12.
Not every crazy moment from the convention is on the list, but here are the top 12 that highlighted what an absolute circus the GOP is today.
The insanity began before the convention even got underway. No one knows how these signs got there, but the message they so hatefully spelled out sends a pretty clear message about who exactly Republicans are pandering to for votes.
Those right-wing lovers of the Constitution, which they’ve used to justify everything from controlling women’s bodies to policing transgender folks and where they pee, were oddly silent about the First Amendment violations at the RNC. Three news reporters, all from notably liberal news organizations and one in the middle of a broadcast, were led out by police without explanation.
Some of the craziness happened outside the convention. When a demonstrator decided to light a flag on fire in protest of the RNC, police swooped in and downtown Cleveland became more like a war zone.
Without ever mentioning that, under President Obama, police fatalities are down to their lowest numbers in decades, Rudy Guiliani reasserted what GOP voters already knew: police officers’ lives are gravely in danger from the evil black folks trying to convince us all of what statistics should have already proven. Facts are all liberal media conspiracies, anyway.
Remember Antonio Sabato, Jr.? Yeah, most of us don’t. The former underwear model and soap opera star gave a rambling, senseless speech and then sat for an interview with ABC News. During that interview, Sabato laid out his argument that our president is a closeted Muslim. His evidence? He feels it, he knows Christians, and Obama ain’t one. Seriously, this man was chosen to speak at the Republican National Convention.
When Alex Jones walked onto the set of The Young Turks backstage at the RNC, calling host Ana Kasparian a “Saudi supporter” and handing host Cenk Uygur a t-shirt with a picture of Bill Clinton and the word “rape” printed across it, tempers flared and security had to intervene.
When Chris Christie took the stage at the RNC, he could’ve spent his time discussing platforms, policies, or maybe even the party’s new nominee. Instead, he led audience members through a mock trial in which Hillary Clinton was convicted of crimes that the FBI and a Republican-led committee have already cleared her of. Clinton’s response the next day was sweet, sweet revenge.
Ben Carson was never wound all that tight, but his brain seemed to have taken a vacation when he insisted that Hillary Clinton, whom he believes was mentored by Saul Alinsky of “Rules for Radicals” fame, was mentored by a man who “accepts Lucifer.” Not even kidding.
In an interview with the Washington Post, King justified racism by using age-old rhetoric from white supremacy groups: whites have contributed more to society. He may be ignoring centuries worth of history and the erasure of people of color from our history, but at least we know exactly what the GOP likes in a candidate.
Although Cruz insisted after he suspended his campaign that he would stand behind the GOP nominee, he found that hard to do after the nominee in question insulted his wife’s looks, intimated that his father was involved in the death of JFK, and spent a campaign season referring to him as “Lyin’ Ted.” The RNC crowd was none too pleased.
The RNC first denied that the plagiarism ever happened, blaming everyone from Hillary Clinton to My Little Pony. In the end, they were forced to admit that Melania Trump copied large parts of Michelle Obama’s 2008 DNC speech. They even sent a poor speechwriting lamb to the slaughter to insist that the plagiarism was all her fault but that no one, not even the man who became famous for the words “You’re fired,” would accept her resignation.
The speech may have gotten our attention, but nothing beats craziness for the sight of Donald J. Trump, purported billionaire and former host of a reality television show, a man who spent the past year bringing out the very worst hatred, misogyny, racism, xenophobia, and sexism the GOP has to offer, becoming a serious contender for the highest office in our land.
For all of those who thought last June that this day would never come, we can only hope that the sight of his dark, fear-mongering, factually inaccurate acceptance speech will make you even more determined to get out and vote in November.
Featured image screengrab via Flickr by Erik Drost available under a Creative Commons license.