First, Westboro Baptist Church -- known for protesting outside of funerals and special events with "God Hates F*gs" signs -- was also in downtown Cleveland during the convention. Fortunately, plenty of people were there to poke fun at them. Raw Story reports that comedy writer Robert Smigel, the creator of Triumph the Insult Comic Dog, led a light-hearted demonstration alongside the Westboro contingent. Smigel's followers held signs that read "God hates morning people", "God hates bangs", and "God hates bad wifi" as the Westboro protesters looked on. Frankly, if anyone deserves lampooning, it's the Westboro Baptist Church.
Second, the strongest dose of wackiness undoubtedly came from a far-right rally in a nearby park. Radio show host and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones hosted the "America First Unity Rally" in Settlers Landing Park on July 18th, according to Right Wing Watch. The rally featured speakers such as Eagle Forum president Ed Martin and Breitbart senior editor Milo Yiannopoulos, who was recently suspended from Twitter after reportedly leading an online abuse campaign against Ghostbusters actress Leslie Jones. In attendance were Tea Party activists, members of Bikers for Trump, Christians for Trump, and Asian Americans for Trump (which I imagine is a small group).
In a video posted by SF Gate, Jones led the crowd in a chant of "Hillary for prison!", then ranted about how an "outside globalist force" is allegedly demonizing police. Jones called Trump's work "over-the-top amazing" after delivery a furious rant about global conspiracies, the New World Order, and Hillary Clinton.
"Trump's a great guy and has amazing courage, but listen. We like to put our faith in any one individual. It's all of us together, the light of liberty, coming together. Nothing's going to be able to turn this around in the end. We're identifying the globalists, we're identifying their program of control, we're identifying what their operations are, and once the general public understands the paradigm, it's GAME OVER! Worldwide, worldwide, globalism and the New World Order are in trouble. All over the planet, the Brexit, all of it, example after example, where people are finding out [that] foreign, multinational, anti-free market corporations that are funding gun control here domestically and open borders, these are the people conquering us. And once we force this into the consciousness, it's over ... You are the solution. You are the answer. You are the resistance. YOU are the reason the globalists are in so much trouble ... Donald Trump, by being in the area, Donald Trump, by taking action, Donald Trump, by doing what he's done, and talking about how we are no longer declaring that we have surrendered to globalist trade, that Hillary is a foreign agent ... of the communist Chinese, the Saudi Arabians and others, no news carried that."Um ... well then ...
Jones' rally got an unexpected provocateur in the form of actor Eric Andre. According to AV Club, Andre tried to reach Jones' stage, but was pushed back by the crowd. Jones eventually allowed Andre on stage, where Andre claimed that he was a nihilist, wondered "why does pee pee comes out yellow", and asked Jones to have sex with his wife.
The crowd booed, and Jones grew annoyed. "This is an agitator who doesn't actually want to have speech. He wants to shut down our speech," Jones told the booing crowd. Andre continued to make bizarre comments and shout "don't tread on me!" until Jones decided it was time for him to leave.
Jones also had an embarrassing experience at the Stand Together Against Trump parade, where he used his bullhorn to shout at a group of protesters shouting "Nazi scum!". Jones was eventually escorted away by police, as seen in this RT America video.
The Republican National Convention has brought out right-wing protesters, conspiracy-addled speakers, and tricksters who love making fun of them. In the midst of offensive and troubling developments in our political arena, at least we can enjoy a few laughs.
To read more about the wackiness outside of the Republican National Convention, visit the following links.
Mother Jones: GOP Convention Protesters Clash With Alex Jones, Police
Washington Blade: Trump supporter: Armed club-goer could have stopped Fla. massacre
Salon: Westboro Baptist Church trolled by Triumph the Insult Comic Dog outside RNC