Gonzo Guide to the Republican National Convention

From supporters to protesters to strippers, Miami will be ready

Redner wants no part of Romney's America. He gazes around at his club. "I prefer to be in here with the decent humans," he says.

After he left Florida's RNC and Nixon crushed George McGovern, Hunter Thompson was in no mood to forgive America.

"The 'mood of the nation' in 1972 was so overwhelmingly vengeful, greedy, bigoted, and blindly reactionary that no presidential candidate who even faintly reminded 'typical voters' of the fear & anxiety of the 1960s had any chance at all of beating Nixon," Thompson wrote. "All they wanted in the White House was a man who would leave them alone and do anything necessary to bring calmness back into their lives — even if it meant turning the whole state of Nevada into a concentration camp for hippies."

Rick Sealock
Rick Sealock

Forty years later, many Americans are again greedy and afraid — afraid of immigrants, afraid of upsetting "job creators" by not giving them tax breaks the country can't afford, and afraid of paying 11 cents more for their pizza so that the kid delivering it can have health insurance.

Who knows where President Mitt Romney plans to put the hippies. But one thing is for sure: He'll leave Americans alone, just as the Sunshine State has left Floridians alone all these years. Ponzi schemers will proliferate. Developers will bulldoze pristine land into parking lots. Everyone will carry a gun. Unless you're poor, of course. Then you'll have to piss into a cup.

But if 16 years of Romney and Ryan's right-wing republic get to you, take Thompson's advice: "Load up on heinous chemicals and then drive like a bastard."

Mexico, here we come. 

« Previous Page
My Voice Nation Help
swmnguy topcommenter

Hunter S. Thompson killed himself, I believe, when he became convinced that America knew exactly how vicious and grotesque it was becoming and didn't care.  I think right up until the end. Thompson thought there was some angel of our better nature that would come to the fore and shame us into a semblance of decency.  Eventually he realized there wasn't, isn't, and won't be.  At least not in our current society.  The earliest possible chance, if there is one, of America being honest with itself and attempting to live up to its ideals can come only after a complete collapse of our economic, and therefore social, systems.


Thompson couldn't see himself living that long, and couldn't stand to live what what we'd be until such time.


It's up to the rest of us, who either think we will live that long or at least can't stand to suicide and miss out on the truly bizarre things that happen all around us everyday, to figure out how to live well and decently in a society that has been taken over completely by psychopaths.


I myself suggest peaceable, friendly non-compliance.  Just going about one's business and not being a psychopath in the throes of a psychotic break; acting like a normal, decent human being; is now a radical and subversive act.  It's dangerous, too.  People acting like human beings make it gruesomely obvious how insane many of us have become.  It's obvious to them too, and if there's one thing that motivates a psychopath, it's maintaining the mask of normalcy at any cost.  Act normally, decently and humanely around one of these lunatics and they will resort to violence.  But it's vitally important, every day more so than the last, to not go along with the crazy delusions that have become mainstream.  It starts by not just accepting the illogical and the evil.  That takes enough courage to keep us busy for a while. 


And it would probably help to not pay any attention to what's about to happen in Tampa and Charlotte.  That's the kind of stuff that made Thompson lose hope and the will to live.