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As I stand at floor level of the Quicken Loans arena in Cleveland listening to the chaotic murmur of a slightly stunned and definitely reserved crowd of republicans waiting for their candidate to deliver the closing speech of the 2016 Republican Nominating Convention I keep asking myself one question over and over again; "What the fuck am I doing here?"

Remembering back over the last few days makes me feel a little drunk, so I'll go slow. But it all started on the morning of the second day when the platform committee was suspended indefinitely as the party elite tried to force a brokered convention. As expected, all hell broke loose! And as predicted, the folks that cast their vote for the presumptive nominee began shouting 'Foul!' as loud as they could. Even mainstream republicans could see how undemocratic this was and weren't about to let it happen.

Then the rules committee decided to make a play at restoring sanity to their party. Someone came up with an idea like the "rule 40b" they adopted during the 2012 convention to keep Ron Paul's people from trying to add his name to the convention ballot. They tried several different variations on this theme, like increasing the number of delegates you need to win the nomination or by making the nomination vote a 'supermajority' instead of a simple majority to win. But unfortunately, nothing they tried worked either. So, Day Two of the convention ended in an impasse.

On Day Three, Reince Preibus, the head of the Republican Party, made his stand. When he gaveled the convention open he introduced some weird 'rules' guy who went on to explain why no delegates are bound to any candidate for any of the scheduled votes. He sighted some old Republican Party rule that basically states each delegate is free to vote their conscious rather than be bound by state nominating rules. When the poor little guy was booed off the stage by Trump followers, Preibus showed his disgust by quitting his job and disavowing the RNC! He stated he would rather vote for Hillary than watch what Trump would do to the political party he loved and cared for so deeply and the country he currently resided in.

Later that day Mr. Preibus was vindicated as the Trump people announced his choice for Vice President. The American public was told that after forming a blue chip team of high level Republicans to find and vet his running mate, The Donald had finally decided to go with the almost one term governor of Alaska and former running mate of John McCain, the Honorable (cough!) Sarah Palin. This sent spasms of ecstasy - or horror (depending on your viewpoint) through the Republican Party. The first officially sanctioned support group, "DumpTrump Anon", met that afternoon to give die hard conservatives a chance to cry on each other's shoulders - but it still did no good. The Trump campaign just kept pushing ahead without a care in the world.

It was later leaked to the press that Sarah Palin was chosen because of the 30 or so calls made to other nationally known republican figures, she was the only one who answered her phone.

Day four started out with a press release from the candidate placing his daughter, Ivanka, in charge of the RNC. Additionally, in her new role, Trump's daughter would buck tradition and address the convention that evening rather than his pick for Vice President. The reasons given were that even though Sarah Palin was quote "...Attractive. Sure, she is. But in a middle age MILF kinda way. Not like Ivanka. Ivanka is freaking HOT! She'll look much better on TV." end quote.

Trump's team attempted to downplay rumors he didn't want Palin to address the convention because of what she might actually say on stage but were undermined by a statement claiming "I chose her because of the chick vote. Not for her brain. I'm the one who will win this thing. I'm the greatest at winning things. I've won lots of things. My record speaks for itself. It doesn't need Sarah Palin to speak for it." Trump closed out his comments by saying, "She will make a statement on the subject once my people come up with one and give it to her." Palin was unavailable for comment.

The last clear memory I have was of that final night. The lights in the hall dimmed and a voice came through the sound system introducing the Presumptive Republican Party Nominee - Donald Trump. I remember standing there and I remember Trump beginning to speak. But beyond that... it's mostly a blur. I remember he used words, actual English words, but nothing he said made any sense to me what-so-ever until about ten minutes into his speech. That's when my jaw hit the floor and utter pandemonium took over in Cleveland, Ohio.

Donald Trump began shouting obscenities at the crowd and asking what the hell was wrong with them? That from the day he announced he was running, he had done everything he could think of NOT to get the nomination. That his whole campaign was a prank dreamed up by him and Hillary. But once he started winning primaries, his ego wouldn't let him drop out. And now, right when he was about to become the republican candidate, he realized that there was no way in hell he wanted the job. If I remember correctly his exact words were something like, "Why would I want to work that hard? I'm a billionaire for Christ's sake! Billionaires do NOT work hard. And for what? Less money? No way, Jose. I'm not taking any cut in pay."

People were going crazy! I was standing next to this one older white guy (surprise!) and he dropped dead of a heart attack right there on the convention floor. But Trump just kept going, "You Republicans are idiots. I only became a Republican four years ago. As a joke. Then, as soon as I did, you guys come to me and ask me to run for president! How stupid was that? You Republicans are not smart people. You're dumb and possibly retarded. Hey, I'm sure some of you are nice people, but...."

And that's when the shot rang out. Everybody hit the floor. After a second or two, I looked up towards the stage and saw one of the strangest sites I have ever seen in my life - Sarah Palin holding a 30.06 hunting rifle as she approached her latest kill. She walked up to Trump's body and rolled it over on its side so you could see his face, then placed one of her feet on his back and struck a pose so her husband could take a few pictures to post on her Instagram page.

A couple of minutes later she walked over to the podium, "Well, somebody needed to do something before he made the party look crazy. Right? Are ya with me?" A smattering of applause was heard and then quickly died. "Anyway, I'm Sarah Palin and I support this message. You betcha."

People started looking at each other - mostly with shocked expressions on their faces. The place was silent as we all processed what just happened. Then, after a bit, I realized Sarah Palin was still speaking into the mic and that's when it dawned on me that she was giving an acceptance speech. It seems, she thought that with Trump dead, the nomination passed to her as if the two had actually been elected! And then I saw the Ohio State Police come onto the stage. They took Sarah Palin into custody while she acted like it was her secret service protective detail just doing their job. But we all knew the truth. She was still 'ol bat-shit crazy Sarah.

About then I noticed a strange feeling well up inside me, and before I knew what was happening, I started laughing. Hard. I was laughing so hard I wasn't sure I would ever be able to stop. It was weird. I mean, I had actually just witnessed the final and complete implosion of the Republican Party right before my eyes! So, I did the only thing I could do - I laughed a little bit harder.

That's when I woke up back in my bed in San Diego. It took me a second to clear my head and realize it was only a dream. An incredibly vivid dream, sure. But, unfortunately, not real. We still needed to figure out how to stop this idiot from becoming president.

Feeling a little let down, but still confident in the mission, I rolled over and went back to sleep.

EJK

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Eric J. Kiser

Eric J. Kiser

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