“I just didn’t know if anybody would show up.” -Joe Flaherty
Dear Republican National Convention,
So…we need to talk.
We’ve built some great memories together. Remember when you came here for the 1924 convention and nominated President Calvin “Silent Cal” Coolidge? We partied hard that week–the first convention to give women equal representation! Good times. Then you came back in 1936, and it was…okay. You nominated Kansas Governor Alfred “Alf” Landon, who went on to earn 8 of 531 electoral votes against FDR. Those numbers even make the Browns look good by comparison. Haha, J/K, the Browns are of course far worse than that. But you get the point. Things weren’t really clicking anymore.
You decided to see other cities, to sow your oats and hang out at the popular kids table with Ike and Ronnie. You were a little embarrassed at how rusty our belt had become. “That’s cool,” we lied. We’d catch your eye and wave every so often as you flew over on your way to see Georgia or one of the Carolinas, half-heartedly wave, and feel a little more of our self-esteem–and barrels of highly toxic waste–trickle with our tears into the Cuyahoga.
A mere six decades later, around the turn of the millennium, we started to pick up the pieces of our heart (at least, the pieces that hadn’t been eaten by seagulls in The Flats). Then, out of nowhere, on July 8, 2014, there you were, recommending us as the host of the 2016 convention.
Could it be? Could we rekindle what we once had? Would you be the one to sweep us back up into greatness? We allowed ourselves to once again yearn for long talks about Reaganomics and crisp Brooks Brothers seersucker. Against our better judgement, we invited you back with visions of economic prosperity and shiny new downtown Sheratons dancing in our head.
Then, just three days later, our ex-husband LeBron, the one who got away, called. He was coming home from Miami. We considered writing you back to say thanks, but no thanks, we’re all set! Still, we were down on our luck. Our dance card wasn’t exactly full. We decided it would still be good to see you.
This brings me to the rather awkward subject of this letter:
We’re winners now.
LeBron just led our Cavaliers to the city’s first professional sports championship in over 50 years. It was incredible! The celebration parade started in June and finished four hours ago. J.R. Smith has yet to put a shirt back on. Everything is confetti and limited-edition tees and grown men openly joy-sobbing at work.
You’ve changed since the last time we saw you. For example, your boy Coolidge once orated, “Our great Nation is made up of the strong and virile pioneering stock of nearly all the countries of the world. We have a variety of race and language and religious belief. Race hatred, religious intolerance, and disregard of equal rights are..,injury.” By contrast, this new BFF of yours Donald “Littlefinger” Trump has said…well, actually we don’t want to repeat that kind of vitriolic nonsense here. We’re not unrefined savages–this isn’t Pittsburgh! (Oooh, sick burn on Pittsburgh.)
Even your old friends don’t want to hang with your new friends. Of all the living past nominees, you only got Bob Dole to speak. That’s like announcing a Seinfeld reunion with only Susan. And look at the rest of these Beltway Bad News Bears: Ben Carson, Mike Huckabee, and Congressman Sean Duffy, best known for his role on the Select Investigative Panel on Planned Parenthood, but mostly Real World/Road Rules Challenge: Battle of the Seasons. I guess you couldn’t get Puck?
Let’s not forget Antonio Sabato Jr. and Newt Gingrich, whom one can only assume were invited to participate in a fun “I Love the 90s” panel. You couldn’t even get Tim Tebow. Even we didn’t want Tebow, and our last quarterback was Johnny “the Lucky Charms leprechaun has fallen on hard times” Manziel. At least, I *think* he was the last one. It’s hard to keep up.
You’re making Cleveland look bad. (This is the first time anyone has ever typed this sentence, so my computer keeps trying to auto-correct to “you’re vaping Caesar salad.”)
Perhaps the biggest problem is that we’re all in celebration mode right now. It’s new for us, and we need to devote all our energy towards learning how to make small talk that doesn’t involve the phrase “we’re doomed.” Dropping balloons and AR-15s from the Quicken Loans Arena ceiling while shouting about deporting our abuelas isn’t really our jam right now. You’re really harshing this city-togetherness buzz we’ve got going on. Trump has said inflammatory things about women and minorities, repeatedly calling opponents ugly and stupid. He straight-up called Ruth Bader Ginsburg senile on Twitter for admitting she “didn’t want to contemplate” a Trump presidency. He’s 2012 Amanda Bynes with superdelegates.
We have suffered through The Drive, The Fumble, The Move, The Shot, The Decision, The Curse, and possibly worst of all, the Kevin Costner movie Draft Day. We don’t need The Convention. Sorry, but this just isn’t going to work out. We’ve grown apart. We’re on an upswing, while you slide somewhere south of “Agitated Randy Quaid.” No one wants to say this to your face (thanks to Paul Ryan, 2016’s Gretchen Weiners), but it needs to be said: this is a Long John Silver’s dumpster fire waiting to ignite.
You’ll just have to trust us when we say we know a burning river of shit when we see one.
Contact us when you’ve come to your senses, or when we go another 50 years without a win, whichever comes first. And if you don’t receive this note in time to stop the convention, then let us be the first to say “Welcome to Ohio!”
Yours Very Sincerely,
The City of Cleveland
PS: Feel free to robo-booty call us this fall during Browns season when we’re drunk and vulnerable.