Republicans Will Piss On Your Hat, Tell You It's Raining, And You'd Better LOVE It
If the mental gymnastics executed at last night's Republican convention finale taught us anything at all about the kind of people who support Donald Trump, it would be these three things:
1. Their highest priority, above literally anything else they hold dear, is to be complimented. You can literally tell them anything, so long as you follow it up with "AND YOU ARE WONDERFUL AND SPECIAL AND WE LOVE YOU."
2. Their deepest desire is to be able to insult people and discriminate against people without those people catching on to that. They would specifically like for those people to think they are wonderful and special, and to tell them they love them. Or, more succinctly, they would like to piss on your head and have you truly believe it is raining. They just told you it's rain, why don't you trust them?
3. They are either incredibly mean or incredibly stupid. Or both.
The first thing that really struck me last night was the expression of PURE ECSTASY on the face of a blonde woman in the audience upon hearing Pastor Mark Burns criticize supposed Democratic "race baiting" (ie: noticing when something is in fact racist).
Recently, I'd read some comment on some internet thing somewhere, in which a white Republican dude kept insisting, from the bottom of his heart, that racism would go away if we would just STOP TALKING about racism. I imagine this lady feels the same way. And on some level, it is understandable. Quite frankly, white people have had the luxury, for many years, of pretending racism is over -- or at the very least, thinking they were doing a really good job of convincing black people it was over. Then, all of a sudden -- or it seems to them -- they find themselves sharing an internet with people of color. And they hear things about "white privilege" -- and no matter how many times you explain it to them, they will insist that it means that you think they don't have problems. They hear things about black people being killed by cops, they hear things that are hard to hear, and in their minds, they think that racism wasn't a problem again before now, because it wasn't a part of their lives. They would like to go back to that, please and thank you, because everything seemed -- to them, anyway -- that things were nicer then.
So when a black person gets up on stage and tells them what they want to hear -- that they are WONDERFUL, and not racist, and not bad people -- and that the REAL racists are the people telling them they are racist, the black people in the streets begging police not to kill them, the black people who dare to demand equal rights before being 100% perfect and saintly themselves -- they make faces like that. They want the anti-racism trophy without ever having to acknowledge that racism exists and is a problem. Then they want to complain about how much they hate the "everyone gets a trophy" thing. They want everything to be like a WASP Thanksgiving where everyone pretends Aunt Becky only fell down the stairs because she's got vertigo or something, not because she's an alcoholic.
This is the same guy, by the way, who recently tried and failed to explain to Jordan Klepper of The Daily Show why Clinton's husband cheating on her was her fault, but it was fine for Trump to have cheated himself.
Then there was Peter Thiel, CEO of PayPal and a gay man, who actually had the nerve to get up there and say "Now we are told that the great debate is about who gets to use which bathroom. This is a distraction from our real problems. Who cares?"
Here is the thing, Peter -- no one on the Left wanted this to be a debate in the first place. We just wanted people to be able to go to the bathroom. It was people on your side going around screaming about their "wives and daughters," calling people delusional, getting furious over being asked to use different pronouns, and generally dragging us all through the same damn hell you drag us through literally every time a group of people asks simply to be treated equally, and with some dignity and respect. Do you think we feel like doing this? Because we don't. It's exhausting.
Perhaps their log cabins have no windows?
Instead, he insisted that he and his party -- despite their repeated calls for the erosion of LGBTQ rights -- were the true protectors of LGBTQ rights, because of how much they don't like Muslim immigrants. And the audience cheered. Not because they give a rat's ass about LGBTQ rights, but because they like being told they are GOOD. Oh, how they LOVE being told they are good.
They like it when a gay man gets up in front of them and tells them that he loves them even if they don't want him to be allowed to get married. They like it when a black person gets up and tells them that they aren't racist for wanting to pretend that racism isn't a problem. They like being validated. In fact, you could probably tell them any damn thing, and they would cheer for it, just so long as you tell them they are special and wonderful.
Then there was Ivanka Trump. Who got up and talked about the wage gap, which most Republicans believe is a myth concocted by the Left to hurt the feelings of nice men who didn't do anything wrong. She talked about how her father was going to make it easier -- somehow -- for women to take maternity leave. How? NO ONE KNOWS. Because he doesn't support mandating that companies provide maternity leave, and there is pretty much no way that he ever would.Trump has called pregnancy an "inconvenience" for business owners and said it is "disgusting" for women to pump breast milk at work.
During his own speech, Trump criticized Clinton for voting in favor of the Iraq War (which he supported at the time as well), and tried to pretend that the Democratic party had been the one to lead the charge when it came to that war and nation building and basically every other thing George W. Bush did throughout his presidency. He announced that Bernie supporters and other Democrats would come and support him, instead of listening to Bernie Sanders and supporting Clinton.
For what it's worth, this Bernie supporter will most CERTAINLY not be doing that, and will -- LIKE BERNIE -- be doing every damn thing she can to ensure that Donald Trump is never, ever president of the United States. Because we cannot freaking let these people win.
Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse