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OpinionColumnistsMark Chiusano

A disappointing convention night

Donald Trump's daughter Tiffany Trump spoke on the

Donald Trump's daughter Tiffany Trump spoke on the second day of the Republican National Convention on July 19, 2016. Photo Credit: Getty Images / Chip Somodevilla

CLEVELAND - Donald Trump officially received the Republican nomination Tuesday night, but there’s nothing else memorable to say about the evening.
 
Remember when we thought a Trump convention would have high production value? Instead we were presented with an evening of empty and jarringly repetitious speeches, the giant silver slogan “Make America Great Again” circling the Jumbotron like a 90s screensaver.
 
Also circling: around the wide breadth of the arena a ticker of inane tweets carefully curated to include only the most innocuous: @govmikehuckabee – Congratulations to@realDonaldTrump on your official nomination! Next stop is the White House! #RNCinCLE. Meanwhile, real Twitter was its usual partisan and divided self. Many laughed and many cried and tapped out sustenance in 140 characters.  
 
Though the theme of the night was “Make America Work Again,” we heard basically nothing about the economy. Instead the drumbeat of the night was “Hill-a-ry, Hill-a-ry, Hill-a-ry,” intoned from the podium, piped in around the arena from bathrooms to staircases. Those three syllables, Hill-a-ry, seem to be the only thing uniting this party and this crowd.
 
We let ourselves be addressed by members of Trump’s business empire, by friends of his from banal business ventures. Briefly by daughter Tiffany who added nothing but platitudes, though it was a break from “Hill-a-ry!” again and again.
 
The evening was so unsatisfying that the grandmaster of it himself didn’t show up, addressing the masses via video chat while we sat in sticky seats kicking pieces of popcorn along the floor. In the cheap seats, hardcore Trump supporters booed TV reporters trying to do live hits while speakers prattled. But on the floor the real delegates, those choosers, were paying even less attention—chatting or checking phones or lining up selfies while people on the stage read off TelePrompters.
 
And all the while that perfect and ridiculous slogan, “Make America Great Again,” spun and spun, while the Texas delegation sat politely and watched in their matching hats and red shirts; while speakers clacked over the smooth black oval of the stage, leaving little in our memories before clacking back.
 
Spinning while the Twitter ticker spun as well, the handle @realDonaldTrump, @realDonaldTrump, @realDonaldTrump, over and over again. And by the time the ticker finally stopped and “Make America Great Again” disappeared, all we were left with was the fact that we were really doing this after all.

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