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Watching the Republican National Convention was not easy. Bottom line? Surely, there is not a majority of Americans who will support Donald Trump to be president.

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Donald the Dummy?—Carl Matthes

Later, what I really began to sense was a “vast right-wing conspiracy.” A what? You know, the conspiracy that doesn’t exist? The same one which has stopped the Supreme Court from having nine justices, gerrymandered the House of Representatives into a standstill, given us a Senate whose objective is to stop or repeal anything President Obama wants or did, produced Citizens United and have put in place the most restrictive voter ID laws since the Civil War.

Yeah, that one.

And now, this non-existent conspiracy, may add the Office of President to its non-existent list of achievements.

I have always thought that Donald Trump is not a dummy. After all, who else in history has started with 1% in a presidential primary season and gone on to win the nomination of one of America’s major political parties? He single-handedly dispensed 16 other candidates using just two thumbs blasting bluster, braggadocio, bravado and bitchiness.

Certainly no conspiracy in any of that.

And, in fact, he’s not even a right-winger. He’s an outsider, proud of the fact that he has shifted positions with every wind change. A person who says he wants to do away with Washington insiders.

But, here’s the deal from the man who hired a ghostwriter for his book, The Art of the Deal. Whatever the outcome of the election, Donald has already made a very good deal. He won the nomination on the cheap. If he loses the November election, he has gained national prominence and international name recognition. Priceless. If he wins, he also gains a place in history. He’ll join Washington, Lincoln, Roosevelt, Kennedy, Reagan, Obama, et al., in school textbooks—forever! Value? Priceless!

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The very conservative religious right-wing, regardless of whether it’s vast or conspiratorial, is now the operating political force behind the man who would be president.

And, all he had to do, after winning the required number of delegates and squashing the paper tiger Stop-Trump people, was to find willing partners to take him the rest of the way—propel him to the presidency. And, he found them. Mike Pence, a Christian conservative of the first rank, Paul Ryan, ditto, evangelicals, loyal Republicans, disenchanted citizens and, sadly, too many seduced by Trump’s long-standing birther stance.

The very conservative religious right-wing, regardless of whether it’s vast or conspiratorial, is now the operating political force behind the man who would be president.

Watching a “60 Minutes” pre-Republican convention program, Trump and Pence did their aren’t-we-the-nicest-guys-ever-to-grace-a-political-ticket routine. At first, I was struck by the yes-man persona of the tough and politically savvy Mr. Pence. Good vice-presidential material, huh? You know, office down the hall, “you may answer that question...Mike.” And, “I can talk to him anytime,” attitude topped with deference galore.

But then, there was shift. The true iron fist attitude of the religious Pence wore through his velvet glove and he began to turn on his master, er, running mate. He started paraphrasing what The Donald really meant—or didn’t really say correctly—when matched against politically correct Conservative-speak. While Donald knows words such as “tremendous” and “great” and some dog whistle vernacular, Pence speaks Washingtonese as only “a Christian, a conservative and a Republican, in that order,” can.

So, is that the deal? You know, does Donald get to be President Trump? And, in exchange, Pence the Veep, Roberts the Supreme, Mitch the Powerful and Paul the Keeper-of-the-Holy-Ideology, et al., get to run the government? Donald as front man, the celebrity?

Sounds rather perfect. After all, Trump likes to have branding rights to properties, products and events. Why should he worry about the day-to-day nuisances of being president when he can have professionals do all the grunt work. After all, as he has said many times, he is not one of those Washington insiders, he’s not a politician. He’s a celebrity who has added the White House to his list of trophy properties.

Insiders will tell you Trump’s not a real conservative. He actually had to prove himself by choosing the veep with the hoary heads of the Conservative movement looking over his shoulder.

It was thought that Nancy Reagan, during her husband’s second term, spoke for President Reagan. Rumors were that Reagan suffered from Alzheimer's. Supposedly, Cheney was backstage pulling too many strings in the Bush White House, like he did when he claimed the nod as Vice-President for himself when he was actually supposed to be just the chair of the Veep search committee.

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And, on that “60 Minutes” segment? I became very uneasy as it became apparent that Pence was not going to be the ventriloquist’s dummy. He was going to be reversing positions. Trump would become Donald The Dummy.

Carl Matthes