Nobody wants a convention of Trumpsters.
A convention of Republicans, maybe, but not — well, let Charlotte, N.C., City Council member Larken Eggleston explain it:
“If it were Mitt Romney or damn near anybody besides Donald Trump,” he told the Los Angeles Times, inviting the national GOP convention would be a slam dunk. However, not this convention.
Eggleston grudgingly cast the deciding vote in favor of what has proved to be one of the more heated disputes in recent Charlotte history: whether to invite Trump to town. Charlotte will do it, but with considerable reservations.
Indeed, this is so controversial that while mayors traditionally make welcoming statements at these conventions, Charlotte’s mayor has said she will not.
You’re thinking: Surely other major cities offered themselves. No.
Charlotte wasn’t at the front of the pack. There was no pack.
As another council member said, Charlotte was in this position “not because we stepped forward, but because everyone else stepped back.”
As the Times reported, the only other bid came from the Nevada Republican Party, offering Las Vegas. Vegas’ city government – Who? Us? — quickly squelched that.
San Antonio welcome Trump? With its Latino population? It wisely backed away from the detonating device.
As the Times observed, race – and Trump’s racism – is proving to be a big concern.
The GOP’s difficulty the Times attributes to “diminishing support” for Trump and his party in major cities that have become more culturally diverse — which is all of them.
Should the Party of Trump continue on its path to all-white homogeny, it can plan on scheduling its conventions at cities whose populations are in the single digits.
We’re talking about red America – vast stretches of almost nothing, and certainly nothing approaching the diversity that historically has characterized this nation.
Bonanza, Utah, population 1, would welcome the Republican Party of the future. So would Buford, Wyo., and its single resident. Brewster, Fla., is a little more cosmopolitan, with three.
By the standards of today’s GOP, Elkhorn, Mont., population 10, is a regular megalopolis.
OK, so Charlotte is “in,” though it is already thinking it made a big mistake. With the protests and clashes over two years of Trump, this gathering could make Chicago 1968 as tame as this year’s National Square Dancing Convention. (Kansas City, by the way, aced out a crowded field for that plum.)
OK, so where could a convention of Trumpsters be welcome? Let’s count them down.
(5) 2020 National Rifle Association Convention (Indianapolis) – The NRA seems to have no problems finding a place to rave on about its increasing brand of militarism and maniacal absolutism. Trump can just slum it there. A bonus: Russian funds reportedly funneled through the NRA can pay for all the drinks. Heck, Russia can pay for everything.
(4) Mar-a-Lago – A great idea; OK, my wife’s idea. “Trump can make a bunch of money from the convention.” Yes, Dear. He can ramp up green fees. He can quintuple the prices in the mini bars. He can charge for the little soaps. He can meter the in-shower shampoo dispensers. He can make a killing.
(3) Burns, Ore. – Haven’t heard of it? It’s aptly named. Near Burns is where ranchers Dwight Hammond and his son Steve, supporters of right-wing firebrand Clive Bundy, set fire to federal lands in a grazing dispute. Sent to prison for arson – also known as terrorism when committed by darker-tinted individuals – they were recently pardoned by Trump. One more reason why he’s a hero in Zero Population Country.
(2) Any Ted Nugent concert – Really, this is a great idea. Instead of Nugent being the entertainment for yet another GOP gathering, Trump can be the entertainment at a Ted Nugent gathering. A duet of “Vlad Scratch Fever,” maybe?
Longtime newspaperman John Young lives in Colorado. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.