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The Republican Party was seriously wounded Thursday night by an orange-hued heathen who, after months of battering conservatives with divisive, xenophobic and often nonsensical rhetoric, dropped the once-proud party of Lincoln to its knees by accepting its nomination for president.
As Heidi Cruz left Cleveland’s Quicken Loans arena after her husband, Ted, gave his stemwinder at the Republican National Convention, she was escorted by security through a hostile crowd. Apparently, people in the audience were annoyed that Cruz hadn’t endorsed Donald “I Call Him Lyin’ Ted” Trump. They couldn’t believe that the Texan actually gave his national audience permission to vote their conscience. They were in shock he didn’t bring gold, frankincense and myrrh with him to the podium as a gift.
Life in the early day logging camps of Grays Harbor was not only hard on the men who risked injury and death on a daily basis to bring down the big trees but on the resilient and adventurous women who found work in the camps as well. One of these was Mary La Casse, a 36-year old Oregon native, who toiled with her husband in the kitchen at Coates logging camp, only to lose her life in a completely accidental, but entirely avoidable, shooting. It truly was a tragedy for all involved and serves as a stark reminder to all to make absolutely sure you know what you are shooting at before you pull the trigger.
Last month’s column was about courtroom decorum, however recently, it seems a broader discussion about civility in general may be worth exploring. One impetus to the decline of civility may be due to our communication styles being dramatically abbreviated by texting, emails and all aspects of instant gratification technology. As a result, the most basic levels of treating each other with respect, kindness, generosity and empathy doesn’t fit within 140 characters. I suspect many think civility is over-rated, though where might we be if everyone was a bit more civil to each other in every day interactions?
Conventional wisdom has it that Indiana Gov. Mike Pence will offer a needed balance to Donald Trump — be the yang to Trump’s yin, the good cop to Trump’s officer-gone-rogue. As the thinking goes, Pence will give the Republican ticket diplomacy and political experience, calming the nerves of jittery voters imagining the combative New Yorker’s finger hovering over the nuclear trigger.
If there’s one thing we learned from the first day of the Republican National Convention it’s that we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure.
It has been a long time in coming.
Last week’s terrorist attack in Nice, after similar tragedies in Paris, San Bernardino, Brussels, Orlando and Istanbul, made two things painfully clear. Western societies, including the United States, have failed to blunt the growing threat of Islamist terrorism. And that means the 2016 presidential campaign will be fought under a shadow of fear. There will be more attacks between now and November; the only questions are when and where.
I watched Paul Ryan’s town hall on CNN this week for a number of reasons, not the least of which is my slight (OK, significant) crush on the House speaker. He is a decade younger than I am, and more geek chic than GQ, but I still have a button that says, “I Heart Paul” from his ill-fated run as Mitt Romney’s vice president, which I wear when I want to annoy the liberals at Starbucks.
The potential best of what was once a Grand Old Party was on display for all the world to see Tuesday night.
There’s a virtual war on cops. It has been ginned up by grotesquely distorted accusations of anti-black police racism, and the tragic irony is that a thoroughly denounced, less proactively aggressive police force has resulted in more murderous misery in already beaten-up black neighborhoods.
A white cop shoots and kills an unthreatening black man at point-blank range during a traffic stop, and liberal activists demonize law enforcement. A black sniper executes five officers from one of the most reform-minded police departments in the country, and conservative commentators demonize the Black Lives Matter movement.