We do not know what to expect from the Republican convention this week, either from the party adherents or from the Trump Rump which appears to have beaten back the Never Trump forces.
The ticket is set, the platform, which is a poor fit for the head of the ticket and likely will be ignored, are set. What remains to be seen is the spectacle, the pageantry, the art of the deal. Will Trump turn the normally staid, (and frankly boring) convention week into Must See TV.?
And will the events that appear to be increasing in speed, in deadly violence, in chaotic uncertainty tell an entirely new tale? What happens if there is an attack in Cleveland? Will the law and order rhetoric, (remember Nixon, 1968) split some Dems away from Hillary, and keep independents, who seem reluctant to support either ticket wholeheartedly, holding their noses as they pull the lever for Trump.
We cannot answer any of these questions now. But based on the campaign so far, there are going to be surprises, and it may not be the candidate who responds with traditional political skills that wins the day. In fact, there is a growing divide among Americans as to just what skills are really needed to be President.
And it is this, what would you call it, evolution or devolution, that confounds the national media. None of their past tropes are making sense and they wonder what is going on. Blacks shot filmed as we watch, police intentionally targeted for murder, ISIS inspired attacks mount even as the President and Vice President tells us they are in their death throes, losing land and territory that made them caliphate-like. The institutions of America facing deep doubt by many Americans that see what they see, and react.
And one wonders if we are facing new and old problems, with ineffective, or worse, dangerous solutions. People want answers, but would settle for things that work. In this election we may get neither.