The show will soon get underway. An estimated 50,000 people, including plenty of media representatives, are on their way to Cleveland, Ohio, for the four-day Republican National Convention, which kicks off on July 18.
GOP delegates will gather at the Quicken Loans Arena to officially nominated their presumptive presidential candidate Donald Trump. Here are a few things to look for:
Many GOP insiders from key battleground states believe the convention could get ugly, according to Politico. There’s a good chance, the insiders said, that violent clashes will erupt.
The group of conservatives polled by Politico expect trouble from Black Lives Matter and other groups they associate with the left.
If protests turn violent, Cleveland is prepared, said Cleveland.com. The news outlet said city officials have granted permits to dozens of groups (not just liberal-oriented organizations) that have sought permission to demonstrate in the streets or to set up platforms at two downtown parks.
Cleveland Police have recruited help nationwide — roughly 4,000 officers to support its 1,500-strong force, Cleveland.com reported. The Cleveland Police Department said it plans to approach security as a non-threatening force, with its officers wearing shorts and polo shirts. No military equipment will be present (unless things get out of hand). Bicycles will form a barricade to separate groups of protesters who are hostile toward each other.
Few are predicting fistfights on the convention floor. But you never know. Things could get heated, as the RNC rules committee deliberates and the anti-Trump forces make their final push to nominate anyone but Trump.
The Washington Post identified some of the anti-Trump groups: Save Our Party, Free the Delegates, and Delegates Unbound. They want to introduce rule changes that “could spark genuine drama on the floor,” The Post stated.
It’s a long shot, but they’re hoping to push through changes that would allow Trump’s pledged delegates to vote for another candidate.
VERY LITTLE COLOR ON STAGE
Trump’s flirtation with hate groups has made all but a few people of color uncomfortable. And his supporters don’t hesitate to respond violently toward people of color when provoked. So, it’s no surprise that there will be very little color on stage at Trump’s coronation. Indeed, convention speakers will be almost all White. Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, one of Trump’s primary election challengers, appears to be the only Hispanic speaker. African-American presidential contender Ben Carson is also invited to speak on stage.
WHERE’S THE PARTY UNITY?
The Republican governor of the convention host state will not attend the party’s big event. Ohio Gov. John Kasich will, however, address the NAACP convention on Sunday night in Cincinnati — where Trump declined an invitation— Politico reported.
The two living former Republican presidents, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush, will not attend the convention. And don’t expect to see the two previous GOP presidential nominees: John McCain and Mitt Romney.
Vox published a full list of top Republicans who have chosen not to attend Trump’s big show.