Pokémon GOP: I tried to catch ’em all at the Republican Convention

I wanna be the very best, the greatest, like, totally amazing, people love me

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For the American right, this is the most important week of the year. Thousands of delegates, protesters and police officers have swarmed Cleveland for Donald Trump’s coronation ceremony. Never in the history of this glorious republic has there been more need for power to be scrutinized on behalf of the people and in the interest of the American body politic.

With that in mind, I spent the Republican National Convention catching as many fucking Pokémon as I could.


My first foray into trickle-down Pokénomics took me to Media Row, opposite the Quicken Loans Arena. After extensive scouting, dodging the likes of Don King and Dr Ben Carson, I was only able to capture a Weedle, a weak, slimy green Bug-type Pokémon. It was quite hard to distinguish from the weak, slimy green press corps.


I then set out on a trek around the perimeter of the arena itself, trying to rack up as much mileage as possible. After walking for an hour and encountering nothing, I noticed that the Quicken Loans Arena was a Pokémon Gym. In what can only be seen as a damning slight to the Republican establishment, it was being held by Team Mystic, the blue team.

As predicted, their stranglehold on the Gym didn’t last long, and soon it was back in the hands of the red team, where it belongs.

As I was just about to give up, I found a Golbat outside the arena, and a Spearow had the nerve to interrupt my mid-evening drink.


Hoping for better luck the next day, I eschewed the security of the convention center and took to the streets of Cleveland. This was my chance at last to become a Pokémon Master, to catch ’em all, to make Kanto great again.

I found a Zubat.


And another one.


And another one.


I paused for brunch…and found three fucking Zubats there.



In the sweltering 80-degree heat, I pressed on, praying to our gun-toting, redneck God for a rare Pokémon.

Outside a bar, I finally encountered one: a Clefairy.

The little pink bastard escaped.


Cleveland is a proud sporting city – LeBron James led the basketball team to the NBA championship at the Quicken Loans Arena, and the baseball team, the Indians, are currently having a great run of form. I decided to check out their ground, which, ironically for this week, is called Progressive Field.

Of course, I encountered a Pokémon.


You fucking guessed it.

Following a brief break from my crucial task to cover a talk by war-weary Ohio Governor John Kasich, I made my way to Public Square, one of the designated protest grounds. Police from all over the country encircled the demonstrations, armed militia yelled put-downs at Reverend Al Sharpton, a woman from the Westboro Baptist Church serenaded a rapt audience of citizen journalists with a homophobic cover of “Let It Go” from Frozen.

I meanwhile was on the hot on the trail of a wild Mankey.

Alas a line of kevlar-clad Columbus cops stood in my way, the thin blue line between order and chaos, between me and my Mankey.

My Pokémon GOP quest left me pouring with sweat, bitter and bereft, a broken man with nothing to show for it except seven Zubats.

I wanted to be the very best, like no-one ever was. To catch them was my real test, and I failed it. Miserably.