As you can imagine, the Republicans had a sizable group of delegates who wanted one last chance to nominate anyone, literally anyone, possibly even an inanimate object, who wasn't Donald Trump. So on the first day of the convention, the Republican National Committee had everyone vote on a new set of rules that would clarify that, yes, delegates are absolutely bound to vote the way their state voted -- the rule would not allow them to switch their vote away from Trump, no matter what.
Nine states challenged the new rules. Their attempt got shut down before it started. As delegate and member of the rules committee Gina Blanchard-Reed explained, "What we wanted to do was get a roll call, so that we could actually take a vote to reject a rules package. And that's what really exploded in there today."
This is where the aforementioned screaming comes in. The official party line is that no roll call was provided because five states dropped their objections. And if reality were House Of Cards, Kevin Spacey would've secured those dropped objections via a series of cunning deals and/or murders. In reality, three delegates who spoke with Cracked claimed the pro-Trump delegates simply chanted and played loud music to drown out the voices of the opposition so no one could hear them.
Show of hands: Which of you dreamed of running for president some day back when you were in elementary school? How many of you imagined that the nomination process would look exactly the way it would if it had in fact been conducted by a stadium full of elementary school kids?
When the anti-Trump delegates attempted to hold up the nomination, the sources we spoke with say that things immediately escalated to death threats. Selena Coppa, an alternate delegate from Washington, said, "On the floor of the convention, a pregnant female delegate was threatened with being hung for what she was doing ... we have to be protected from the protesters? No, we have to be protected from ourselves."
Gina Hayward-Reed told us at least three delegates received their threats in a much more veiled form. "[T]here wasn't anything physical ... it was more coercion ... 'You should really think about what this means down the road for you, y'know?'" Not that Selena didn't see plenty of that sort of thing, too. Stuff like, "'We're going to make this difficult for you,' 'You don't want to ruin your life,' 'You know, this could go very badly for you.'"
Win McNamee/Getty Images
"That's a nice political party you have there. Be a shame if something were to happen to it ..."
Make no mistake, this is mild stuff compared to some previous major party conventions. The 1924 Democratic National Convention came down to fistfights and screaming matches on the floor, and an army of Klansmen burning one of the candidates in effigy. The 1968 DNC descended into chaos as Chicago mayor Richard Daley got in the face of a senator from Connecticut and screamed, "Fuck you, you Jew son of a bitch!" We think of elites as either smooth, charismatic con artists who could talk a cow into a slaughterhouse, or conniving hucksters who orchestrate complicated machinations behind the scenes. In reality, they're just people. Petty, shitty people.
"I almost got my credentials [rescinded] because I wasn't sitting in the right seat," says Hayward-Reed. See, she'd been a little too far out into the aisle, and her opponents used those extra few inches of, uh, butt-space to try to justify kicking her out of the whole convention. That's the sad reality of political infighting at the highest level. It's not assassinations and bribery that you have to worry about; it's some asshole with a tape-measurer looking for the slightest, pettiest excuse to shut up the opposition.
The direction of history can turn on shit just like that. In fact, I'm pretty sure it just did.
Robert Evans runs the Cracked Personal Experience Article team, and his book on how sex, drugs and rock and roll built civilization is on sale now.
For more reasons Trump is a frightening, frightening figure, check out Donald Trump Is Courting 9/11 Truthers: The Weird Reality and 5 Ways We Got The Trump Campaign Wrong: An Insider Explains.
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