Chaos did not erupt on the Republican National Convention floor on Monday evening. Unrest was present but it was not chaos.
A few hundred people that had been screened prior to entering and went through an advanced level of security voiced their disagreement. That’s it. There was no chaos. A minority of loud voices are not chaos. For a few minutes, things were uncomfortable. But we all knew that comfort was coming. When you see people wearing NEVER TRUMP shirts at a political convention designed to do the opposite of Never Trump, it doesn’t take a soothsayer to predict the future.
Cleveland has been calm. The Quicken Loans arena is calm. The Freedom Plaza is calm. The vendors are excellent. In fact, they’re my favorite aspect of this entire not-exactly-a-debacle.
Bootleg t-shirts, or unlicensed merchandise, tends to be boring. In D.C., it’s usually a pleasant photo of the Obamas on a reusable grocery bag or pin. It’s fine. In Cleveland, the products that are not technically related to the Cavs and Trump and Hillary are fun.
Anyway, what’s going on inside the Quicken Loans Arena is not chaotic. It’s similar to the outside. Small groups of people are gathering to voice their support or dismay for the presumptive GOP presidential nominee. There is not blood on the streets. There aren’t a lot of people on the streets.
It’s really calm in and around the RNC. Whether that’s due to the nominee, recent tragedies or an NBA Championship, the mood is actually pleasant. There’s much more vitriol on Twitter and Facebook. If one based all their opinions on social media platforms, we’re near anarchy and Melania Trump is Stephen Glass.
Before Melania Trump’s speech writer’s fuck up, the story of the night may have been former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s impassioned prime time speech. As he was being introduced, a Code Pink protestor got in, screamed her messages and was silenced by delegates, including a man from Bikers 4 Trump.
The Mayor of 9/11 spoke about the safety of New York City, borrowed Obama’s 2004 lines about no white America and no black America, just America, and was interrupted by another Code Pink protestor. Another woman also screamed her messages and was silenced by delegates. This time, Giuliani noticed. He acknowledged her presence, saying, “It means we’re getting to them!”
Following Giuliani, Trump entered the arena as a pro-gay Undertaker and Melania said words the current First Lady already said and most people forgot or didn’t even know about the protestors. Because chaos did not erupt.
We ran into the protestors outside the arena. They were not arrested. They were not ticketed. They found credentials on the ground and used them.
After Melania but before the official programming concluded, protestors and anarchists dispersed. The only guys that remained were young white men in shorts holding a new Trump flag.
On a related note, the first track on 311’s 2001 album From Chaos is “You Get Worked.”