Alex Jones, the radio personality who consistently promotes the most reckless, paranoid, and utterly ridiculous conspiracy theories, has embraced and been embraced by Donald Trump. Yesterday, Jones teamed up with Trump adviser and legendary political dirty trickster Roger Stone to host the “America First Unity Rally” in Cleveland’s riverfront Settlers Landing Park on the first day of the Republican National Convention. The rally was a perfect fit for the Republican National Convention’s chaotic and divisive first day.
The big names at the rally were Jones and Stone, who were both greeted as rock stars. While Stone denounced Hillary Clinton, someone in the crowd repeatedly shouted, “She’s a reptile!” – a reference to one of the more, uh, colorful theories Jones has promoted.
Some of the other notable speakers:
- Kelli Ward, GOP primary challenger to Arizona Senator John McCain, mocked him while people in the crowd shouted “traitor!”
- Ed Martin, president of Phyllis Schlafly’s Eagle Forum, who has been embroiled in a power struggle between Ted Cruz-supporting board members and Trump backers Martin and Schlafly.
- Diamond and Silk, who entertained the audience with a rendition of their “we’re proud black Trump-supporting women” shtick, calling Hillary Clinton a "bitch," denouncing the media, and telling black voters to “get off that Democratic plantation.”
- Jan Morgan, extreme gun rights advocate, sounded like one with her seeming suggestion that any regulation of firearms violates the 2nd Amendment
- Milo Yiannopoulos, a Breitbart senior editor whose public persona is a performance of the self-described “dangerous faggot” and whose flamboyant raunchiness makes some conservatives squirm even while they love him for his far-right politics.
Joining them on the podium were Tea Party activists, political candidates and leaders of Bikers for Trump, Christians for Trump and Asian Americans for Trump. We were told that God had anointed Trump and he would bring God back into American life.
In addition to Trump campaign talking points and hard-edged attacks on Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, a number of speakers attacked Republicans. While the event highlighted the participation of veterans, several speakers denounced former prisoner of war McCain, drawing shouts of “traitor” from the crowd. One Tea Party leader said it’s important to get rid of House Speaker Paul Ryan. Another speaker went after Ohio Gov. John Kasich.
These and other attacks on Trump doubters and the Republican establishment were made while the speakers were standing in front of a banner proclaiming “unity.”
We will post more information on some rally speakers in separate posts.