Oh, dear.

    President Trump has tweeted his concern that pandemic precautions, put in place by our Democrat governor here in North Carolina, might force him to move the Republican National Convention from Charlotte to…. somewhere more accommodating.

    Say it’s not so, Mr. President. How will we cope? Because we all know where thousands of Trump supporters gather, there is only goodness and mercy. Also a reliably loyal sideshow of screeching fake militias wearing Ollie’s camo, tidy young white supremacists who look like they just want to put you in that crossover SUV today and conspiracy theorists squinting in the Carolina sun after finally emerging from their basements, jacked up on a diet of Alex Jones’ kool-aid and mom’s meatloaf.

    Nice little swing state you got here, Trump’s tweets seem to say….be a shame if something were to happen to it in the form of millions of lost revenue just because your governor is, frankly, chicken. Bok, bok, bok, BAH GAAAACK!!!!!

    Funny enough, Trump finds himself in a situation where he has to show some restraint, because North Carolina is a true swing state. We have 15 electoral votes he could use right around early November, so Trump can be blustery and mob bossish but not overdo it. His scorched earth, mock the maskless playbook might not work in a state that could just as easily go with Biden.

    North Carolina, where I have lived my entire life, is as divided as a state can be. Rural and urban areas break, politically, pretty much like you’d expect. There are exceptions, of course, but they are rare. For the most part, an Eastern North Carolina farmer with a Biden sign in his soybean field would be as shocking as finding a ham hock in your hummus.

    Charlotte, a city I’ve visited often since the Princess moved there last year to teach school, is, in the words of the venerable “Our State” magazine, a “world-class city.” The Charlotte of today is nothing like the city I remember even 20 years ago. There is an Ethiopian restaurant, for heaven’s sake. And, despite the dominant banking and finance industry that fuels Charlotte’s carefully curated big-city vibe, there are…Democrats in them thar malls. Lots of them.

    Of course, in keeping with our schitzy nature, Charlotte also has Franklin Graham and NASCAR, two reliably Republican entities that Trump loves to pledge allegiance to because he has been a fundamental Baptist and stockcar aficionado his entire life. OK, no he hasn’t.

    Banker and founding father of the “new” Charlotte, Hugh McColl, has said “Charlotte is not an accident; it’s a purposeful happening.”

    And so it is with the Republicans selecting the “Queen City” for their convention. It’s no accident they would choose the largest city in a state that could help cement Trump’s second term.

    It’s a “purposeful happening.”

    Will Trump prevail? Or will the pandemic send the ‘pubs packing, run outta town on the beloved light rail that meanders through the city. Stay tuned.


    Celia Rivenbark still can’t figure out why downtown is called uptown in Charlotte.