"Trump's Red, White, and Blue." - RNC, 2106
By now, you’ve read everything you needed to read about the Republican National Convention, and probably seen everything you need to see. But, what a careful examination of history can teach us time and time again is that perspective does matter. And so, I humbly offer up another perspective of RNC CLE from the streets.
Media attention was extreme, with good reason. It seems all anyone could talk about was the looming presence of a potentially militarized police force. At some point, I stopped counting the variety of municipalities representing America with battalion sized groups of well groomed, well built, and well armed police. From the beat cops of Cleveland, to the tactical Secret Service details zooming around in black SUV’s – the things you normally see in theaters, they were ready for war. If you looked closely, and knew what to look for, some citizens also came locked and loaded.
Much to everyone’s (now) delightful surprise, Cleveland’s atmosphere was party-like. Sure, there were some arrests, and the much publicized flag burning by one of the original flag burners, whom fought so hard to defend the freedom of making that act a legitimate First Amendment right years ago now. But, the level of professionalism in hindsight seems like the whole event was well planned – right down to the Chief of Police, Calvin Williams snapping selfies with just about anyone whom made the request.
What did emerge, through my lens seeking eagerly for an emergent unique social trend in the potential spectacle of the event was clear: Donald Trump’s version of red, white and blue.
Thanks for looking.