I wanted no part of the Republican National Convention. Never did I think I’d be hosting it.
What a lovely Wednesday evening I was having, entirely free of racist lies and smarm. Then the GOP showed up.
I heard the rattling of equipment in my backyard, the assembling of a stage, “Trump” banners tacked to my fence.
And then: Stage lights. Melania Trump ascending the stage. Lies and smarm.
You say this didn’t happen in my back yard?
Oh, yes. The White House is my property. The Rose Garden is my garden.
I did not consent to a political convention on my property. If you consented, shame on you.
President Trump and his band broke the law with their smarmy convention. Lock them up.
The Hatch Act prohibits about a dozen things that happened there, from the speeches exploiting my property as a backdrop, to a citizenship ceremony using immigrants as props, to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo making a political plug from Israel.
We paid – you and me – for all those stunts.
Government grounds and functions are not vessels for political conventions. Conventions are for pricey venues paid for with real American money from people like the DeVoses (whatever it takes to buy the Department of Education) and DeJoys (whatever it takes to own the postal service).
It should be paid for by Big Pharma and Big Oil
and as they deduce whatever it takes to buy the government.
The New York Times story said the convention “blurred the line between campaigning and governing.”
“Blurred.” That’s a nice name, like “meddle.” Like Russia “meddled” in our elections. Like Trump just “asked a favor” of Ukraine. La, la, la. Like picking petals in Melania’s garden.
Well, that’s not her garden. It’s mine. Trump’s convention didn’t “blur” a distinct line. It obliterated it.
Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows essentially acknowledged violating the Hatch Act when, rather than denying what we saw with our own eyes (and on our property), he said, “Nobody outside the Beltway really cares.”
What he said is what Trump has embodied from Day 1. The law does not apply to him.
We used to know the White House as the People’s House, where Abe Lincoln would throw open the doors for plain folks. They owned the place after all: the People’s House.
Now, instead of the People’s House, the White House has become the Imperial Palace.
This is a Great Leader named Kim, a great son named Kim, his sister Kim, the other son named Kim. Oh, and their sister Tiffany.
The Hatch Act doesn’t matter to the Great Leader and his followers. The Emoluments Clause doesn’t matter to them.
Extorting foreign nations to gain re-election doesn’t matter. Criminal acts by his associates don’t matter. Neither do criminal probes into Trump businesses.
Thursday night I thought I was done with the RNC.
Then I heard the familiar racket on my front lawn, the assembling of lights and stage and draping of Trump posters.
Then the poster boy ascended the stage before a bleached crowd which, jammed together on my lawn, exhaled germs and rattled jewelry to his every utterance.
For 70 minutes Trump prattled. Fact-checkers calculated 20-plus lies.
When it was over, my grass trampled, all I could do was spray my front yard with Lysol.
Voters must do more than that in November.
We must have someone in the White House who honors it as a loaner. We do not want squatters who assume it to be theirs.
What Trump did in his convention was illegal — to use my property in this way, to use the functions of my government this way. His followers do not care.
All that matters to them is that He is in power. All that matters is the Great Leader Him.
Longtime newspaperman John Young lives in Colorado. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.