Tuesday, July 19, 2016

What would it take for Trump to get heckled?

Yesterday, I speculated that the neverTrumpers might try to embarrass Trump himself during his acceptance speech.  Here, though, let's take that a bit more seriously than throwing stuff at the wall to see what sticks.  What would have to happen?

The neverTrumpers aren't just disruptive protesters.  They dislike Trump for a variety of reasons, and to see if, and how they might mess things up, we need to remember why they dislike Trump so much.

1)  Simple distrust.  Many of the neverTrumpers are just conservatives who look at Trump's record, recognize him for a fraud (which he is-- I call him Tony Clifton), and object to the nomination of someone who doesn't actually share any of their beliefs.

2)  Personality.  This is the Mark Kirk objection.  Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL) claims not to support Trump because someone so reckless and impulsive simply cannot be trusted with the nuclear codes.

3)  Racism.  Speaker Paul Ryan responded to Trump's objection to the judge in his class action case on the basis of his "Mexican heritage," by calling it "textbook racism."  This contributed to George Will's decision to go further by leaving the party.  Along with that, others ditched Trump when David Duke got on board.

Those are the three main categories of neverTrumpers.  The problem is that a Trump speech won't give many opportunities for any booing for any of them.  Trump will give a basic, boilerplate speech, filled with standard conservative rhetoric, Trumpian catch-phrases, HRC-bashing and generically patriotic applause lines.  He'll play it safe in the speech, just as he did with the Pence pick, whatever else he does with the stagecraft.  Thus, even if the Category 1 neverTrumpers think he's full of shit, they won't have any specific reason to boo because he'll say the right things, nor will the Category 2 neverTrumpers have a reason to boo because he won't give one of his rambling, stream-of-consciousness tirades.  And he'll certainly steer clear of the kinds of overt racism that have gotten him in trouble in the past with the Category 3 neverTrumpers.

What does that leave?  His entry and exit.  He did an entry last night, and he didn't get boo-ed.  Maybe the neverTrumpers just weren't prepared for it, but it suggests that things will go smoothly for Thursday night.  A careful speech will leave the neverTrumpers few reasons to boo, and if it didn't happen last night, it probably won't happen Thursday night.

Then again, this year, anything can happen.

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