My friend Joseph Nelson deserves credit for inspiring this post.
Donald Trump says he’s yanking the convention from Charlotte, North Carolina. (Well, maybe not all of it, just the exciting parts that spread obedient adulation and coronavirus.) The Republican National Committee is now looking for a new venue where they count on lots of supporters who won’t wear sissy masks.
Kristi, you’re on this, right?
Governor Kristi Noem already has Donald Trump coming to the Black Hills for fireworks at Mount Rushmore on July 3. She’ll get to hang on his arm all day long (Melania who?) swapping stories about hiring your kids for government jobs and extolling the virtues of the Black Hills. Kristi, work Donald into a lather, and then, as the fireworks pop, lean over and whisper right in his ear, “Come back in August—bring the convention to South Dakota!”
Kristi, tell Trump how the Black Hills hosts hundreds of thousands of his biker pals every summer, so hosting a measly (another term derived from a virus) 50,000 Republican National Convention goers would be no problem. (Heck, why not move the convention up a couple weeks and do it during the Sturgis Rally?) Tease him with the prospect of recreating President Coolidge’s Western White House, spending the rest of the summer as far from coastal liberals, humidity, and mosquitoes as he could. Pitch how the Republican National Convention will get cheaper rates in South Dakota than anywhere else in the nation, thanks to our low taxes and low wages. And promise Donald he can bring all the spectators he wants to his great big convention speech without any silly state orders about social distancing or other public health hysteria.
Bringing the Republican National Convention has obvious advantages for everyone in South Dakota, including you, Kristi. You can put thousands of South Dakotans back to work in a snap readying the hotels and campgrounds and event sites for Trump and his unmasked convention. You can become the savior of the South Dakota tourism season. You can put our fair state on every national news broadcast every night for the rest of the summer, earning more media than any Minneapolis ad firm could buy you for any price. You can shuck some coronavirus relief funds toward trucking in lemons and distribute them to every family in Pennington, Custer, Lawrence, Meade, and Fall River counties, so every child can go out on the street and peddle lemonade to the RNC visitors.
Any rich idiot can rent an arena and pack it to the rafters with cronies and balloons and generic stage decorations (and prop Bibles—don’t forget the prop Bibles!). But only the President of the United States can order the Park Service to clear a path for himself and the camera crews and several thousands followers to the greatest backdrop any nominee could ask for: the pine- and mountain-sky-framed faces of America’s greatest Presidents, quietly bestowing dignity on their worst successor, who will mug the mic for two hours, then push a big red button setting off fireworks launched not just from the mountain but from screaming B-1Bs from Ellsworth and a long train of fighter jets brought along for the biggest aerial parade ever.
Kristi, paint that picture for Il Duce (leave out the “worst successor” part; you’ll think of something more appealing to your target). Paint the picture of Trump’s tremendous acceptance speech, with the cameras positioned perfectly to display his head among the four granite greats, next to the prospect of Sleepy-Creepy (or whatever last three adjectives Trump has tweeted) Joe Biden muffled behind a mask and squawking at Democrats from his basement on a Zoom screen. Trump will eat it up.
And on the third morning of the great Black Hills Republican National Convention, you can rap out the Secret Service code knock on the door of the Alex Johnson Presidential Suite, toss a couple McMuffins on the bed, and, when the Donald looks up from his phone, say with all the pageant conviction you can muster, “If you think this is good, imagine me as your running mate.”
The next night, the big night, when Donald Trump stands on his platform at Mount Rushmore, when the bombers and pyrotechnics and mask-free delegates roar, you’ll be standing right there, holding his hand above his head before a grateful state and a bedazzled nation.
Republican National Convention—We’re On It™. Kristi, this is your moonshot. Bring the convention to South Dakota!