Image courtesy of Vox
By Franchetta Groves
This week the Republican Party held their National Convention to rally support for President Donald Trump in the 2020 election. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the convention this year did not have as many attendees, but many speakers did attend in person. The primary location was in Charlotte, N.C. as well as at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium in Washington, D.C.
This year’s speakers supported the president and boasted of the successes of this administration over the last four years. Speakers included many members of the Trump administration, congressmen, as well as American citizens voicing their support for the president. Many speeches concentrated on the economy, the effects of the coronavirus epidemic, and law and order.
With the effects of the pandemic and racial unrest in recent months, many of those featured spoke with patriotism and the “American way” to overcome these obstacles. They addressed these problems by saying that we need to overcome them together as one nation.
“Even on our worst day we are blessed to live in America,” spoke Nikki Haley, former United Nations ambassador. Haley’s speech focused on coming together as Americans and the strength in unity.
Speakers, such as senator of South Carolina Tim Scott, testified to the successes of the Trump administration specifically in the economy. Scott spoke of “opportunity zones” which he and the President have worked on together. He boasted that these opportunity zones brought in development from outside businesses and that $75 billion had been brought in from the private sector.
A commonality of the convention was to attack and criticize Democratic candidate Joe Biden and his running mate Senator Kamala Harris. The Democratic ticket faced criticism of failing to establish law and order, weakness on foreign policy, and plans to implement socialism into the American economic system. Former Mayor of New York City Rudy Giuliani even claimed that “Democratic leadership has led to rioting and looting.”
The recent protests and riots in Kenosha, Wis. in response to the shooting of Jacob Blake were also a topic of discussion. Many speakers critiqued the left and Democratic Party for not enforcing law and order. Vice President Mike Pence and many others called to “back the Blue” and stand with law enforcement. The wife of David Dorn gave an emotional testimony to the night her husband was shot in the line of duty this June, during protests in response to the killing of George Floyd.
While many have attacked Trump for his response to the racial unrest and police brutality, some speakers, such as Ben Carson, argued that this administration has done good things for the African American community. Carson cited the President’s prison reform policy, support of school choice, and the lowest black unemployment rate before the pandemic, as evidence for this.
The Republican party’s pro-life stance was also a major topic of discussion with speakers Sister Dede Byrne and Abby Johnson. Johnson is a former employee of Planned Parenthood, and after watching an abortion procedure became an activist of the pro-life movement. Sister Byrne has worked as a pro-life activist for many years and called Donald Trump, “the most pro-life president we have ever had.”
The convention ended Thursday, August 27th, and concluded after President Trump spoke. In his speech, Trump accepted the nomination as the Republican candidate in the 2020 election and proceeded to talk about the successes of his administration. Trump’s speech focused on rebuilding a strong economy, protecting America from harm, and establishing unity as American citizens.
“This year’s RNC was a spectacular love letter to America. There were so many unforgettable moments such as congressional candidate Madison Cawthorn standing for the Pledge of Allegiance, Ann Dorn’s heart-wrenching experience with her husband’s death, and Abby Johnson giving a chilling story about the truth about abortion,” said Sophomore Politics major Michael Ippolito, “Not to mention President Trump’s incredible speech that spoke to the heart of Americans. The RNC did an excellent job, and I am ready to see what happens this year.”
Other students were not as impressed with the convention this year.
“When watching the RNC, I found numerous examples of why I refuse to re-elect this man again in November. His key speakers were either related to him or were motivated by the freedom of his hateful rhetoric. The claims that Joe Biden was simply in politics for his own livelihood seemed like satire considering the blatant nepotism in his cabinet,” commented sophomore Andrew Green, “To finish the convention, in the true tradition of Donald Trump’s presidency, he defied public health standards set for the safety of the public while simultaneously breaching an act close to a century old, made to protect our lands, institutions, and programs from the threat of politicization.”
With the 2020 election under 70 days away and the presidential debates right around the corner, each campaign will be hoping to drum up support and voters. Across the national average, Trump did see a one or two-point bump in polling post-convention; however, he is still polling behind Joe Biden. With a close race, both campaigns may need to restrategize, and much is riding on the debates in the coming weeks.