The Republicans couldn’t have run a worse convention if they’d tried. From the SNAFU over some delegates trying to force a roll call vote, to Melania’s plagiarism to Ted Cruz’s slap in the face non-endorsement the RNC was one mismanaged move after another.

But more shocking and frightening than the total lack of management was the disastrous speaking. Not in terms of form, but substance. These were speakers lining up to yell raw meat and slanderous remarks about Secretary Clinton. These were men comparing her to Lucifer, insulting her, starting chants of “Lock Her Up!” Surrounding these garish speakers were men and woman (largely white) with sexist and sexual innuendos concerning the Democratic Candidate. It was disgusting. Revolting. Vulgar.

But the part that worries me the most was the final night. The night Donald Trump gave his barn-burning dystopian speech positing that the country was on the heels of collapse (fact free obviously) and only he could bring it back. And, like the ramblings of most future dictators, the spectators ate it up. The speech was dark, frightening and intimidating. But more than the rhetoric, the candidate himself seemed more serious; more concentrated and slightly less bombastic. This change in demeanor seemed to mark a more mature candidate. A candidate that might just win. Thursday night we witnessed Donald Trump’s presidential form. A lot of flair, a lot of fear and just enough populist zeal that it could work. And its that last part that made it hard to sleep that night.  I can scarcely imagine the next four years with that mentality in the White House.

The Democrats need to take heed. The convention cannot just be about bombast and anti-Trump messaging. This needs to be a very aggressive and assertive convention that speaks to the issues of the day, highlights Secretary Clinton and proves that the Democrats have a governing philosophy that extending into the positive and doesn’t just linger in the negative. Only with that kind of convention, focused on building up a nation and a candidate can the Democrats launch the general election on the kind of footing that will get them the win in November.

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